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Family of missing man hoping for the best

Family of missing man hoping for the best

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by Jason Browne

Ten days into the search for missing man Leroy Douglas, his family fear the worst but are hoping for the best.

His wife, Veronica Douglas, stated that one of the last requests she made of her husband on the morning of Sunday, June 14, was that he {{more}}should not go fishing that day.

As she recalls the events, her voice wavers slightly. She has recalled these events many times since then; to the media, police, relatives and friends. But after almost two weeks of searching for her partner of 33 years and husband of 20 years, the pain is still fresh.

Surrounded by the children they both raised, reminiscences of “Dougie” as the family know him, were free and flowing. Remembered as a hard working technician, ever-present father and keen fisherman, Douglas’ wife recalls a man of deep ambition who could do it all.

His regular Sunday routine would see him out of the house at 5 am, and returning around 9 am. On the morning of June 14, Leroy, a repairman, headed to his usual fishing spot, some 10 to 15 minutes from the house, by foot.

He has not been seen since.

A search of the coastline by the coast guard and inland searches by parties consisting of civilians and police, have turned up no leads.

Inspector Hawkins Nanton of the Police Public Relations Department told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that officers from the Calliaqua police station, the coast guard and the Rapid Response Unit have combed large areas of land and sea in the Brighton / Prospect area, but no clues or material evidence have been found. He however said the searches on land and sea were continuing.

Veronica however thinks the police should have started to search earlier.

“I think they should have been here… Monday at least, but you know they wait until yesterday (Tuesday, June 16) to come and do the searching and so on, and I find that they were not fully equipped, I was looking for them to come with a dog, or something like that, but they went out and they searched, and they haven’t found anything as yet, and they promised to be back today…. I am praying and hoping that something would be revealed today… I don’t want to say, find him dead, but if that’s the case, then we’ll just have him to put to rest.”

She said her husband is a loving, caring, hardworking and ambitious man who would always know when something is wrong with her.

Leroy raised all four of the household’s children, three of whom are not his biologically, but regard him as a true father.

Keith, the eldest son of the family, recalls Leroy’s steady hand in raising him from an early age. The former British naval officer, who resides in Trinidad, was shocked and admitted to disbelief at the notion that his father could have drowned. He remembers a strong man with a tireless work ethic, who was stern when he needed to be.

Rennel, the eldest daughter also recalls the stern discipline Leroy dealt to her as a youngster; both she and Keith returned from Trinidad to be at their mother’s side and provide strength during her time of need.

“I can tell you that this man would not hurt a fly, and for someone to hurt him, it is beyond my comprehension.”

Daughter Lerisha, Leroy’s biological daughter and youngest of the family, fighting back tears, highlighted her close relationship with her father. The toll of the ordeal is large in her mind and has impacted her health. An asthmatic, she recently suffered an attack and spoke to SEARCHLIGHT while still feeling the effects; with a raspy voice and visible effort. She described her father as “more like a brother.”

The Douglas family is of the opinion that Leroy was abducted by someone, and recall that threats had been made to his person twice previously. None of the children seemed convinced that the Prospect resident drowned, as none of his fishing equipment has turned up to indicate that he was on the water. Lerisha points out that the water that fateful Sunday was choppy, which would normally have turned away her father and her husband, who was Leroy’s frequent fishing partner.

“I don’t believe he got to the beach, he had gotten threats, that’s why I said that….”

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