KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Two searches in East Kingstown on Saturday failed to turn up Menaleus Jocelyn, 78, who has been missing since Boxing Day.
Ashford Peters of the “Time to stand together against violence and crime in SVG” Facebook group told I-Witness News that while the police went to the wrong area, he was pleased with the effort of the citizens groups that searched Saturday morning and afternoon.
“We have not found Mr. Jocelyn but the information that we have been collecting throughout the day has been very helpful to our investigation,” Peters said in an interview shortly after midnight.
“I feel there is hope and we feel more convinced now that we are closer to finding Mr. Jocelyn or, at least, finding out what went wrong,” he further stated, adding that he was not in a position to disclose the information.
Peters said that according to credible sources, Jocelyn, who lives alone in Cane Garden, was last seen on the night of Boxing Day asking for the road to Cane Garden.
The man, also known as “Servant of the Lord”, is believed to have been disoriented since he was in fact on the Cane Garden road and was uncharacteristically wearing only boxer shorts and a long-sleeve shirt.
Peters said that the search parties collected information that is very helpful to their “investigation” into the disappearance of the man.
He said four persons participated in each of the search yesterday and that members of the Special Services Unit did not participate because they went to the Arnos Vale roundabout rather than the Sion Hill Intersection, where volunteers were to gather.
The searches concentrated in Sion Hill, Bay Hill, Cane Garden, Dorsetshire Hill, and Kingstown.
Peters said that while he was somewhat disappointed that more people didn’t participate in the search, it might have been “a blessing in disguise” since the small group allowed for a more concentrated and assiduous effort.
He further said that the small group could reduce the chances of some errors committed by searchers for Shanika Small last year from reoccurring.
He said that in that search, everything that was potential evidence was either tampered with or posted on Facebook.
A body, believed to be Small’s, was found weeks later but police are yet to release the result of DNA tests.
Peters said that there are some challenges to a citizen search, including permission to access abandoned buildings and other private property.
The searches, he said, were mindful that they risk trespassing on private property, especially since they are not police officers and do not have a warrant to search at will.
Peters responded to concerns by I-Witness News about a child having participated in the search Saturday morning.
He said that the child was accompanied by her grandmother was never at the forefront or in a position to see a dead or decomposing body, if one was found.