Police have confirmed the death of an eight-year-old girl from St. Andrew who went missing last week Thursday, April 11.
Dead is Shantae Skyers of Sterling Castle Heights, a student of Red Hills Primary School, St. Andrew.
The child’s body was found amongst rubble in an area known as Blue Hole, St. Andrew on Tuesday, April 16. It is reported that the girl had a wound to the head.
Police said a search party led by the St. Andrew North Police, which included scores of searchers, found the body.
Family members have complained that the police had not acted quickly after Shantae was reported missing Thursday evening. Residents of Sterling Castle searched several areas where the child would likely have walked to school, including Blue Hole and Bulla Level.
Residents of the area blocked roads Monday, complaining of lack of police attention and stating too few police officers were involved in the search.
Police in their release today said they had also publicized the child’s disappearance through the JCF’s communication arm, the Corporate Communications Unit, which disseminated information to the all local media houses and shared the child’s photograph and information on its social media pages on Friday, April 12, which went viral.
Police said that on Tuesday, April 16, the search intensified when the Caribbean Search Centre, the Canine Division and the Jamaica Defence Force joined the effort.
As the investigation transitions into a murder probe, personnel from the Community Safety and Security Branch—who had been giving support to the family since the child’s disappearance—have been joined by the Victim Support Unit to deliver a new phase of intervention for those affected.
Meanwhile, investigators have identified a suspect in the matter and are pursuing leads.