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2005-05-23 09:25:58

Mother Fabricated Story of Missing Sister

Deranged woman leads police on wild goose chase looking for allegedly missing sister and baby.

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama - Police over the weekend closed the weeklong case of a missing mother of a two-week-old baby girl after investigators determined that the actual mother of the infant fabricated the missing person's story in a desperate attempt to rid herself of her baby.

Authorities said on Saturday that Rosenell Russell, 23, whom investigators had been searching for since Tuesday, does not exist.

They also said that Nicole Pinder, 23, who claimed to be Russell's sister is in fact the mother of the infant she claimed her sister left in her care and abandoned.

The saga reportedly began when Ettamae Jones of the Social Services Department contacted police after receiving information from Ms. Pinder, who reported that Rosenell Russell had disappeared leaving behind her infant daughter, Jasmine.

Police said officers from the Eight Mile Rock division traveled to Ms. Pinder's home to investigate the matter. The woman reportedly said that her sister had brought her baby girl from Moore's Island back on May 2, and asked to stay with her at her home in Holmes Rock.

The 23-year-old then reportedly told officers she last saw her sister on May 10, claiming that the Abaco mother left her infant with her to go to a doctor's appointment.

Investigators said the young woman gave them a full description of how her supposed sister looked, and what she was allegedly wearing when she last saw her.

Officers on Grand Bahama and Abaco then began intensive investigations into the missing person's case, with Social Services officials scouring clinics and other locations in search of the woman they believed had abandoned her daughter.

Mystery mounted in the missing person's case when the officer in charge of the Moore's Island police department informed the Central Detective Unit on Grand Bahama on Friday that no one in the community knew of a Rosenell Russell.

What police said became further baffling was that Ms. Pinder had herself suddenly gone missing, causing the baby girl to be subsequently taken into the custody of Social Services.

Investigators then intensified their investigations, searching for what then appeared to be a case of two, instead of one missing young woman.

Police said that on Friday night officers with the help of Social Services officials were able to locate Ms. Pinder, whom officers escorted to the Eight Mile Rock station for questioning on the matter.

Authorities said police inquiries subsequently led to a break in the case.

Chief Superintendent of Police Basil Rahming said, "It has been determined that Ms. Pinder is the mother of two-week-old, Jasmine, and that the circumstances that led to her conception have resulted in Ms. Pinder suffering severe emotional trauma for which she is now receiving treatment."

Mr. Rahming added that based on investigations, police believe that the young woman in her anxious efforts to mentally divorce herself from motherhood fabricated the "Rosenell Russell" story.

He said based on the mitigating circumstances of the case, police will not be bringing criminal charges against the young woman, and that the case has been referred to the Social Services department in Freeport.

Ms. Pinder's baby girl, according to Social Services officials, is now at the Grand Bahama Children's home.

Sharon Williams, The Bahamas Journal

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