KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – When the Miss SVG pageant is held on Friday at Victoria Park, missing from among the contestants will be a young woman who has not been seen since last Oct. 23.
Shanika Small, 20, whose last known communication was a text message to a friend saying “Call 911”, was at the time of her disappearance, among the bevy of beauties preparing for the show — a major event on this country’s carnival and cultural calendar.
Police in Kingstown are yet to say whether they have received the results of DNA tests expected to indicate whether a decomposing body found in the Dauphine-Welcome area Oct. 30 is Small’s.
Small’s mother identified clothes on the body as those of her daughter.
The delegates in the Miss SVG pageant will join previous contestants in honouring Small and the 1979 winner of the pageant, Ingrid Myers died in the United States on Dec. 31 that same year.
They will do so by singing Brandy’s “Missing You.”
Cheryl Rodriguez, chair of the Carnival Development Corporation’s (CDC) Beauty Shows Committee, announced on Tuesday that Small was among candidates preparing for the Miss SVG show.
“… we don’t know what happened to her,” she said at a CDC press conference.
“So, … our contestants here have decided to do a tribute in song to both those ladies,” she further said.
“… we are having a bit of both the past and the present,” she said of the persons who will perform the tribute.
Miss SVG 1999, Kimon Baptiste and Laferne Fraser, the 2002 winner of the show, who was also won the Miss Carival crown that year, will join the current contestants in performing the tribute.
Janelle Allen, the second runner-up in the 2004 Miss SVG pageant, and reigning Miss SVG, Avia Charles, will also perform.
“… they are practicing and they have sweet voices so they will sound well,” Rodriguez said of the tribute which will be performed just after the contestants’ evening wear appearance.