A week after a massive search was launched for missing woman Karen Harris, a similar effort was mounted today in the hope of finding 31-year-old Sidneato Holford.
However, at the end of the intense two hour-long exercise, the 120-member search party – including 75 civilians and 45 police and army officers – came up empty handed.
The search, which began around 9 a.m., also included three sniffer dogs from the Police Canine Division, who assisted police in combing through the densely vegetated Belle gully area.
Family members, including Holford’s mother Pamela, his cousin Shawn and teenaged son Renaldo Trim also took part in the search, which was eventually called off just after 11 a.m.
At the end of the gruelling exercise, Holford’s aunt Cheryl Hall was moved to tears and unable to speak.
“So far, unfortunately, we did not find the missing person, but we found 70 cannabis plants ranging from seedlings to two feet,” reported acting Assistant Superintendent of Police David Welch.
“We found another set of plants that are few in numbers but they were mainly seedlings. Our investigations will continue into those finds,” he added.
Today’s search came on the heels of strong criticism of the authorities for what was deemed by some to be an inordinate response by the island’s security forces to news of last week’s disappearance of Harris, a 49-year-old Caucasian woman, who has since been found.
However, while admitting that today’s effort to find Holford was not the biggest search mounted this year by police, Welch, who is the police public relations officer, assured that lawmen remained committed to finding the missing Black man.
He said lawmen were prepared to act on any new leads into his disappearance.
In fact, he pointed out that today’s effort was third mounted by the authorities in the hope of finding Holford, who went missing on January 14.
“We would like to thank the public who showed great interest in this exercise and have come out to assist the police in their search,” Welch said.