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Police: We can’t wait for 48 hours!

Police: We can’t wait for 48 hours!

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Senior officers at the Calliaqua Police Station have refuted allegations that they may have dropped the ball in their investigations into the whereabouts of Shanika Small.{{more}}

Superintendent of Police Carlos Sampson and Station Sergeant Trevor Bailey say that all efforts are being made by them and the men under their command, to locate Small, who, up to press time, had not been seen since the night of Friday, October 21.

They also made an appeal for persons to refrain from using social networking sites to post potentially valuable information on the case.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday, October 25, Sampson indicated that the police were following all leads regarding Small’s disappearance.

He said that claims that the police allowed a 48-hour period of time to elapse before they started working on the report that Small could not be located, are false.

“That’s not true. That was never so. It does not take 48 hours; we move immediately. We can’t wait for 48 hours.”

“Whenever a person is missing, it is entered immediately into the reports, so we don’t have to wait 48 hours.”

“As soon as a person knows somebody is missing, we expect that they would do the right thing and inform the police, so that we could act immediately, and not 48 hours as people would want to have the police as saying.”

The officers said that since they were alerted of the 20-year-old woman’s disappearance, up to five different searches had been conducted by them in the area around Small’s Dauphine residence, mainly concentrated in the Fenton mountains area.

Station Sergeant Bailey indicated that on Tuesday, officers assisted by a tracking dog, trekked into the mountains in their second search on that day, but did not find Small.

Bailey said that a search conducted the day before (Monday October 24) was a community effort organized by close friends of the missing woman, but was not in conjunction with the police.

He said that a police officer present during the search, was there of his own will, since he lived in the community in which Small resides.

According to Bailey, the police have been receiving tips from members of the community as well as concerned citizens, which he said were well appreciated.

However, the men warned persons to desist from posting information on Facebook, as well as Blackberry Broadcasts, which, he said could hinder the investigation.

“If anything is revealed during the search, why would you want to post it on Facebook that if the perpetrator is out there, you’re telling them everything we are doing and how close we are getting to them.” Bailey noted.

“So while we are appreciative of the effort, we want to err on the side of caution as to what is posted on Facebook,” he added.

The men called for a more coordinated effort between the organizers and themselves in searching for, and ultimately finding Small.

“When people go around saying things and putting things on Facebook and not communicating with the police, this poses a problem for us. I’m saying to the public: if you have any credible information, give it to us do not put it on Facebook,” said Sampson.

The police confirmed that two pairs of shoes discovered not too far from where Small resides, were identified as belonging to the missing woman.

They also indicated that up to press time, one individual was being questioned in relation to her disappearance.

The men indicated that they would continue to pursue all leads provided in finding Small and appear optimistic despite the odds.

“At this moment, we are nowhere closer to finding her than we were at the beginning. We’re still checking out every lead; every bit of information we have we are checking it,” Bailey noted.

“I am really open-minded as it stands right now; I am optimistic that we will find her alive.”(JJ)

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