Ian 'Magic' Hughes
Friday, 18 May 2012 02:30
By Ian Magic Hughes
Having read Alex Holder’s “Mother Still Grieving for Missing Daughter,” and having read the many comments showing concern for the grieving mom, I was moved with compassion.
I felt the mother’s pain and was moved to help.
After just a few minutes with this parent, it was clear that despite claims by the police that her daughter, Alisha Bastian, is "alive and well," this mother, Denise Barnes, is not convinced.
“I don’t believe them," she said, close to tears. “They (police) say that she alright, but I don’t know that. If they know she is safe, all I’m asking is that they give me proof and I will be happy. I just want to know that she is safe."
I know that the police have a full plate fighting crime and all that, but this mother who has not seen a daughter she loves and misses need some help from the men chosen to protect and serve.
The Daily Observer first ran a story of the supposedly missing 19-year-old student of Pares Secondary in July last year.
Barnes last saw her daughter on the morning of February 15, 2011 during an unpleasant conversation before Bastian left home with her boyfriend to go to town.
“She told me she was pregnant and I told her she needed to go to the clinic to take the necessary tests,” the mother reflected. “He (the boyfriend) said that going to the clinic was not a good idea. I did not understand why he would say that.”
This mother, like many others, has an intuition about the people her children associate with, and this boyfriend was one she was never comfortable with.
“There is just something about him that made me uneasy but she would not stop from him, so I just allowed him to come around so that she would be at home,” Barnes said.
I have deliberately left out the name of the boyfriend in respect of his rights in case he has no link to the young lady’s disappearance.
But the mother is convinced that her daughter will never be found and the boyfriend is to blame.
I felt compelled to write on this issue because, without pointing fingers, I think that many agree that this grieving mother should get some help. That her daughter is old enough to make her own decisions is not an issue with Barnes.
“Like all families, we had our bad times because I had to discipline her from time to time but we had a good relationship,” she said. “Even after she dropped out of school and was said to be sleeping in people's garages, we always stayed in touch. I called her from time to time and begged her to come home, and she did.”
The distraught mother said that Bastian did come home, and after a while her boyfriend started coming around and even stayed at the house from time to time.
“I was not too pleased with him coming around but I was happy that she (Bastian) was at home so I tolerated him,” she said.
After Bastian left her mom’s home last year, there were at least two reports that the young lady was seen in Potters.
“I heard that she was in Potters and I went there a couple of times, but no one seem to know that she lived in the place she was seen,” Barnes said.
The interesting thing is that since July last year, there have not been any reports of anyone seeing Bastian.
The police, though, are of the view that the young lady is alive and well.
Police spokesperson William Holder maintained that the police have done their job, and that this is now a matter of respecting the person’s privacy, in this case Bastian.
“She is not a minor,” Holder said. “Once the police receive a missing person’s report and they are satisfied that that’s not the case, then we are not obligated to tell anyone of the person’s whereabouts.”
Barnes, though, does not understand why the police cannot show some sympathy for the pain she is feeling.
“I’m begging them to just let me see her," she said. “I’m not asking that she come back home. If she don’t want to live with me, it’s okay, but I don’t understand how nobody can say she is here or there and I can just see her."
So, since the police will not help, perhaps people who are moved with compassion will come to this mother’s aid.
The Parham mother said she does not even know if her daughter mothered a child, and that is also a cause of concern.
According to Barnes, the 29-year-old boyfriend is off island, a report corroborated by the young man’s father.
It was reported that he left for Canada one month after the mother last saw her daughter.
Not even her daughter's closest friends, according to Barnes, have heard from or seen Bastian for more than a year.
Meanwhile, the mother continues to plead with the police and the public to help her to have some closure to this extremely disturbing situation.
Barnes questioned the reasons behind the treatment she has received from the police, and said it’s a case of status.
“Not because I’m poor, I love my children like anyone else,” said the mother of six. “Her clothes are still at home.
“Her glasses, which a friend helped to buy for about $2,000, is still there, and I just don’t understand why she would not even call or come home to pick up her stuff.”
Now seriously, which one of you, in Barnes’ position, would sit on your hands and accept what the police said?
Is it asking too much for the police to provide even a recent picture of the young lady so her mom can have some closure to this extremely sensitive condition?
This is the last know, picture of Bastian, who someone said was seen in Bolans last year.
Anyone with any information should please contact Denise Barnes at 728-4516 or 785-3802
See related stories:
Grieving Mother Still Searching for Daughter