The family of missing teenager Michael Blades has called on Police Commissioner Severin Moncherry to provide answers in connection with what they describe as the ‘fishy’ disappearance of the 19 year old.
They say they hold the police responsible after Blades, known as ‘Cocoa’ vanished upon his release from custody in the Choiseul police station on November 24, 2019.
The autistic young man, who is from Vieux Fort, was held two days earlier in a robbery probe but set free due to lack of evidence, the police said.
“I want to send a message to the Commissioner of Police – I need to tell him that we need answers. The police not telling us nothing. He disappeared without trace. We want to know what they did to him,” a distraught uncle who requested not to be identified by name told St Lucia Times.
“You cannot have a young guy in your custody and released without any charge and not seen since,” the uncle asserted.
He declared that the police must take responsibility and those who released the teenager must be investigated.
The uncle said that had Blades been the son of a rich family, the situation would have been different.
“We poor – we don’t have money,” he explained.
However the uncle made it clear that if he has to sell his house to pay a lawyer to seek justice, he is willing to do so.
He appealed to the police commissioner, Human Rights campaigner Mary Francis and the Director of Public Prosecutions to come to the aid of the distressed family.
According to the uncle, so far only former Prime Minister Doctor Kenny Anthony, who is the MP for Vieux Fort South, has come to the aid of the family of the missing young man.
Anthony also issued a statement Tuesday saying that he was ‘deeply troubled’ over the incident.
“Understandably, the family needs answers and very quickly. While Cocoa has had a history of autism, he is a sensible, kind, warm and jovial individual. I have known him since he was a child. I just pray that Cocoa is somewhere, alive and well,” part of Anthony’s statement read.
The uncle of he missing teenager noted that the police have often appealed to members of the public to assist them in fighting crime, but asserted that the people do not trust law enforcement officers.
“We don’t know what the police did to him after they released him,” he stated.
The uncle told St Lucia Times that on Monday, persons from the Special Education school which Michael Blades attended conducted a search for him in Soufriere and Choiseul, to no avail.
“It’s really getting me frustrated,” he explained, adding that there is something fishy about the whole affair.