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December 31, 2012
Star News


Jamaican woman missing abroad - Family fearing the worst

Leighton Levy, Star Writer

It's been more than a week since 41-year-old Jamaican Annemarie Lynch went missing after leaving work at a popular restaurant on the island of St Maarten. Lynch, a salad chef at Pineapple Pete's in Simpson Bay on the Dutch island in the eastern Caribbean, left work about 10 p.m. on December 22 and has not been seen since.

A missing person's report has been filed at the Philipsburg Police Station and efforts are being made to find her, but so far, her whereabouts remain a mystery. A search mounted by co-workers was launched on December 28 but it turned up nothing.

Lynch has been living on St Maarten since about April 2010 and has been working at Pineapple Pete's for just over a year, said her daughter Sanya Bennett, 24. She told THE STAR that she is concerned because the last time she spoke to her mother was about two hours before she was last seen leaving work. Bennett said she speaks to her mother every day, so not hearing from her for more than a week is troubling.

A very troubled Bennett is about to start the process of acquiring a visa to visit the island in search of her missing mother. She said Lynch had sent her a package from St. Maarten via a relative of her boyfriend. She went to May Pen to collect the package on Saturday, December 22. Later that night about 8 p.m. her mother called to ask if she had picked up the package and had 'gone through the things'. Two hours later, Lynch, who is also known as Suki, was picked up from work by her boyfriend, co-workers said.

However, the boyfriend, who declined to give his name to THE STAR, denied picking up Lynch from work. "I picked her up part-way," he said. "I don't remember the name of the road where I picked her up, but I picked her up minutes after 10. She called me and told me where to find her."

Dropped her home

He said he took her home and advised her to get some rest as she had to be back at work by noon the next day. "I drop her off, make sure she was okay and then went home," he said. He was unable to say specifically what time he dropped her home, saying only it was after 10 p.m. Reluctant to speak further, he then referred THE STAR to the Daily Herald and Today newspapers where he said information could be gathered about the missing woman. When pressed he said, "I am leaving everything in the hands of the police, let them deal with it".

Lynch's daughter said she first became aware that something was wrong when she did not hear from her mother on Sunday, December 23. When she didn't hear from her the following day, she tried calling but the call went to voice mail. She then called her mom's boyfriend, who told her he had not seen her. She called him again later in the day but nothing had changed; he said he had not seen her. She said she called again on Christmas Day and the boyfriend said he had not seen her but assured her that he would be visiting her house later but then he called later to say that he had gone by her house and didn't see her.

The boyfriend said he was concerned. He said when Lynch was not working at SPN Sports Bar or Pineapple Pete's, he and her work together in an air-conditioning and refrigeration business and her disappearance has been a blow to her many friends. "Who would not be worried? She is someone who is caring. This is affecting a lot of people," he said.

A frustrated Bennett said she eventually got hold of a phone number for another of her mom's friends, who informed her that the chef at Pineapple Pete's reported that he had not seen her at work and it was unlike her not to show up.

A report was made to the police, who last Wednesday entered Lynch's home with a key provided by her boyfriend. There they found nothing out of place, save for the fact that the only thing that seemed to be missing were the clothes she wore to work the last time she was seen, and her bag. Bennett said this suggests that her mother had not been home since that fateful night she was last seen.

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