Posted On: Friday, 25 May 2012 Last Updated: Friday, 25 May 2012
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Basseterre, St. Kitts, (Friday 25th May, 2012)-After weeks of searching in numerous areas of Nevis to locate the whereabouts of a missing teenager from the village of Church Ground, police there seem to have now shifted their search for the remains of Dylon Clarke, apparently concluding, or at least factoring the possibilities, that the 17 year old may have died.
Authorities in Charlestown however have given their commitment that they will employ all means and resources at their disposal to find the teenager, who disappeared over a month ago, after deciding to take a casual walk in his neighbourhood.
Despite the lack of success so far, Assistant Police Commissioner, Robert Liburd made it clear that the efforts to find Clarke will continue and they have recently been using the services of two police officers from the United States Virgin Islands and their cadaver dog.
However even with this new approach and the expert help of the dog, which is trained to sniff dead bodies, no credible leads have been found to locate the apparent victim. The intensive search this time was concentrated in the Pond Hill, New River, Cane Garden, Church Ground, and Hamilton, but still with no luck.
“We are very happy for the assistance that we have had from the Virgin Islands Police Department. We are grateful that the officers were able to come here and work for those two days and gave some assurance and that some of the areas we have looked for Dylon are cleared. We have no indication of what may have happened but that’s it at this point in time,” he noted.
Liburd has assured family members of Clarke and residents on the island that the matter remains an open case that for them will not go away, until solved. Even if it takes a decade and more said the police official, the effort to solve the case will be ongoing.
Despite lack of success in the case so far, Mr. Liburd expressed satisfaction with the work done by his men in the teenager’s disappearance.
“… I am satisfied with the manner in which the police have handled the case. I had trained officers who were working on this case and they have had a number of assistance from the public. We have followed all the leads that the public has given to us. We have used all of our expertise and I am satisfied that at this point in time that we have done a good job,” the ACP said.
In response to enquiries regarding the Nevis Island Administration’s assistance in the matter, the Deputy Commissioner said they had helped and in collaboration with the Federal Government also succeeded in sourcing the two visiting officers and the cadaver dog from the USVI Police Department.
Meantime, ACP Liburd said although it was expensive to source the specialized dogs finance was not the reason for the delay. He explained why a dog was brought weeks into the investigation in search of the missing youth.
“You must understand that we wanted a tracker dog in the first stage of the investigation. We would have needed a tracker dog, we couldn’t source a tracker dog and the areas in which we thought we could have gotten a tracker dog, it would have to come from the United States and there were some problems with getting that dog from the mainland.
“Finance was certainly a part of the difficulty. A bill has been incurred in getting officers here and maintaining the services, but in the initial stages finance was not the real reason why the dog was not coming the real reason was sourcing the dog, getting the dog out from the US was a problem,” he said.
Mr. Liburd further explained that if a tracker dog was used, it would have been able to follow a scent trail of the missing person and take investigators to places he would have walked or visited.
“That’s why we wanted that dog,” he said and added, “a cadaver dog deals with dead bodies. So after those days have passed, if the man is dead, then we need to get a different type of dog to see if it could uncover where a dead body is, if he is dead.
“We are exploring all the means and so since we did not find him in the first couple weeks, then we looked for the next stage to see if the man was killed, if he was buried some place hoping to uncover that,” he said.
Regarding instances of misinformation that appeared in the public domain about the investigation over the past weeks, the Deputy Commissioner regarded it as unfortunate and in some cases had the potential to hurt the investigations.
“Certainly once there is misinformation naturally it is going to create problems and could really hurt the investigation but we were able to rise above that and continue our work.
“So we are very grateful for the persons who were very positive in their information and we are glad that they were able to work with us and to help the Police in whatever way they did,” he said.
However, he noted that the Police Force had already sourced their own specialized dog for tracking purposes for use throughout the Federation but appealed for the public’s assistance for another.
“I must also tell you that we have just sourced a tracker dog for ourselves. I think it’s going to be doing some training and should we have a similar case we should be able to use our own dog. It will be assigned to St. Kitts & Nevis.
“At the same time I would like to appeal to the public to assist us in whatever way that they can. We are certainly going to need assistance in keeping and maintaining the dog and probably we could do with another,” he said.
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