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2003-10-27 10:00:15

Bodies Found On Beach

A man is said to be in police custody after two bodies matching the description of two of five missing boys were discovered on a Grand Bahama beach on Sunday, the Guardian has been informed by a reliable source.

Although Commissioner of Police Paul Farquharson on Sunday evening dismissed the report as "insubstantial", the source, who is close to the investigation, said that two hearses were on the scene at Freeport's Barbary Beach to transport the bodies.

Police suspect, according to the informant, that the corpses are those of Mackinson Colas, the second boy to be reported missing, and Desmond Rolle, the last of the five to disappear.

The Guardian was further informed that police are attempting to positively identify the bodies, and that the suspect being held, during interrogation, admitted to kidnapping and killing six young boys.

But according to Commissioner Farquharson, "I want to dispel all rumours until we get something substantial, then I will gather the press together and inform them, but I don't want all the press pulling off in different directions, dispersing rumours. That would be most detrimental to us and the press' credibility."

The police chief acknowledged however, that following several significant tips from the public, he had heightened the police presence in Grand Bahama.

The missing Grand Bahama residents are listed as: Jake Grant, 12, Mackinson Colas, 11, and DeAngelo McKenzie, 13, who disappeared within 18 days of each other in May, and 11-year-old Junior Reme went missing on June 30. Desmond Rolle, at 14, the oldest boy, was the latest to be reported missing.

On a recent visit to Freeport, Mr. Farquharson appealed to the public to stop "covering up" information that could be vital to solving the case.

During an interview he said that he told Grand Bahama residents to "accelerate any further information that they had to please come forward, (and) if need be, call me direct."

As a result of his appeal, he said, several new tips had been received at the Command Centre located at the Police Headquarters in Nassau, and at the Grand Bahama police station.

"As a result of that further appeal, there has been several bits of information into the Command Centre and in Freeport, and, as a result of that I have sent further resources to Grand Bahama to assist in investigating and follow through with the information that we have received," Mr. Farquharson advised.

Asked if the tips had led the police into a particular direction, Commissioner Farquharson said that it would be "irresponsible" to release such information until a proper investigation had been made.

Earlier this month, police charged several minors with manslaughter in connection with the disappearance of Jake Grant, who reportedly drowned in a pool, but whose body was yet to be recovered.

The youth are being held at the Simpson Penn Centre for Boys in New Providence.

On the radio talk show Jones and Company on Sunday afternoon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Cynthia Pratt said that when she visited the places where the missing boys previously worked she became aware of a number of social problems.

"...We found out about the delinquencies — about kids going to school three days out of the week and nothing has been reported. Children who are absent from home two, three nights of the week," she said.

"We cannot as a people," the DPM said, "sit and point fingers at who is responsible. We have to come together. Government and communities and build together, because whether the PLP Government is here or whether the FNM Government is here, no government will have the amount, the kind of resources it needs to eradicate the social ills we have in this country. There is no way, it is just too large."

She said the government realized the urgent need for additional law enforcement in the Family Islands.

Khashan Poitier, The Nassau Guardian 

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