A tough year without Jasmine
Today marks one year since visually impaired university student Jasmine Deen disappeared on her way home from classes about 9 p.m. The passing time has done nothing to ease her family’s pain. Instead, more worry sets in and the emotional trauma...
Today marks one year since visually impaired university student Jasmine Deen disappeared on her way home from classes about 9 p.m.
The passing time has done nothing to ease her family’s pain. Instead, more worry sets in and the emotional trauma makes her sisters sometimes fearful of leaving the house as their father grapples with grim theories of what might have happened to the girl they affectionately called Moya.
Jasmine, who was studying international relations at The University of the West Indies, Mona, was last seen wearing a white blouse and blue jeans in Papine, St Andrew, after boarding a cab on Thursday, February 27, 2020, after school.
Her father, Lloyd Deen, sifting through thoughts of the mal-intent of the world outside of his gate at Ten Miles in Bull Bay, St Andrew, is driven to a state of anxiety and confusion whenever his other children – especially his two other daughters – leave home.
“Me know something happen, but mi nuh know a who do it,” he told The Gleaner. “Everything kinda change. Me nuh like go pan di road, mi nuh like a walk up and down. Me have the other pickney dem. Fi dem go someweh, yuh nuh know weh a gwaan, you might end up inna another problem again.”
As a single parent, the pressure has intensified for him to ensure that his other three children remain in optimal health, mentally and emotionally.
Deen believes that the family may need counselling, mentioning that he is depressed and has realised that Jasmine’s sister who was closest to her, Ashae, is particularly scarred by the situation.
“More while she just angry ‘bout it. Me know say it affect all of them and dem cry, but a true dem nah cry mek me see,” he said.
“More time, me can’t sleep neither. Mi haffi find things to keep me going,” said the tradesman. “Me have to mek dem have something going dat dem no think about it, ... make everybody have something to focus on,” he said, explaining that he has to remind them that they still have to live their lives.
“Dem things here happen to traumatise people or to turn dem in a idiot,” Deen added, pointing out that Jasmine’s sudden disappearance seems impossible for them to overcome emotionally.
ALWAYS ON HIS MIND
The emotional trauma has also altered Deen’s life. On days when he should be working, he finds himself sitting, just starring, totally consumed by thoughts of his Moya.
“If me even go pan di work, mi mad fi lick off all me finger because me a think ‘bout Moya same way. Me can’t focus. If me even deh pon a building, me a look if me see her. Me a drive in a di bus, me a look if me see her,” he said.
He will keep looking for his little girl as he hangs on to hope that she is still alive, harbouring thoughts that she could have been trafficked.
“Me feel say she deh somewhere. It no must be Jamaica, but me feel like she is alive and one day we will find her,” the hopeful father told The Gleaner.
“People a do business everywhere and a nuh like people don’t know. People know dem things here a gwaan, but everybody turn a blind eye,” he continued.
Deen also suspects his Moya could be a victim of organ harvesting or has been made a sex slave.
“The boat dem come in from Haiti and dem come a the reef dem. Dem nuh come weh the busy area dem deh. Dem come pick up ‘cause them have doctor weh dem work with, enuh, weh tell dem your type or whatever dem a look for,” he suggested.
Deen believes Jasmine could have been found if the police were more vigilant in their pursuit when her disappearance was reported. He also believes he would have been able to make a breakthrough if he had funds to hire a private investigator.
Two persons of interest – 40-year-old Tamar Henry of Bull Bay, St Andrew, and 36-year-old Gregor Wright – were held by the police as they investigated the then 22-year-old’s disappearance. They were charged with possession of identity information, eight counts of unauthorised access to computer data and simple larceny. Henry was also charged with breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act.
In December 2020, Police Commissioner Antony Anderson said that by March 2021, the men could be charged with murder.