This week’s featured overall development as Newsmaker of the Week just ended is the mysterious disappearance of Opposition lawmaker Phillip Paulwell’s 10-month-old daughter, Sarayah, and her mother for over a week.
In the latest development in the case, reports are that an individual was apprehended at one of the island’s two international airports after the person attempted to leave the island.
The individual is to be questioned relative to the disappearance of the mother and daughter.
At a time when Paulwell, the veteran PNP Member of Parliament (MP) for East Kingston and Port Royal, would be preparing for the 85th staging of the People’s National Party (PNP) annual conference for which the public staging is this Sunday at the National Arena, the politician is preoccupied with the disappearance of his little one and her mother.
In fact, the leader of Opposition business in the House of Representatives said the last week has been very “horrific” for him since the mother and daughter went missing on Saturday, September 9.
There have been various theories relative to the disappearance circulating on social media, but Paulwell, in a social media post on Friday, said he was not concerned about addressing them.
“I am not concerned about addressing the various theories that have been circulating in this space; it is inconsequential in the grand scheme of things,” said Paulwell.
Despite reportedly being in constant communication with the police, Paulwell said the whereabouts of his child and the child’s mother remain a mystery.
Last Saturday, 27-year-old Toshyna Patterson, otherwise called ‘Tosh’, and her 10-month-old daughter Sarayah Paulwell, both of Gilmour Drive, St Andrew, went missing.
A $500,000 reward has been offered for information that can lead to the safe return of the two.
Patterson is of dark complexion, slim build, and about 163 centimetres (five feet four inches) tall, while Sarayah is of dark complexion and about 75 centimetres tall, a release from the police said.
The Half-Way Tree police reported that at about 7am on Saturday, September 9, Patterson and Sarayah were last seen at their gate.
When last seen, Patterson was dressed in a brown tube top, army green sweat pants, and a pair of black crocs shoes, while Sarayah was dressed in a pink onesie.
They have not been heard from since then.
It was reported that Patterson and her daughter left their home in a high-end motor vehicle. There were reports that Patterson knew the person in the vehicle, but police have not confirmed those assertions.
Reports emerged, too, that Patterson went to meet with a woman known as Leoda Bradshaw, the partner of Paulwell and the mother of his eight-year-old daughter.
The missing child, 10-month-old Sarayah Paulwell, and her mother, Toshyna Patterson, otherwise called ‘Tosh’.
However, in a statement issued by Bradshaw on her Facebook page a day after the disappearance of Patterson and her baby girl, Bradshaw denied any involvement in the matter.
“I have never spoken to her (Patterson) by phone, nor have I made any arrangements to meet with her. Any such reports in social media are lies and will be passed on to my lawyer for action to be taken in the days ahead,” Bradshaw wrote.
Then reports began surfacing on social media that Patterson and her daughter had returned home.
However, this was dispelled by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) as being false, and the police warned persons to desist from spreading misinformation.
As the week lingered on, the police did not divulge much about the case, and Paulwell, despite appealing for information on the whereabouts of his child and her mother since they went missing, remained silent.
The Opposition PNP also issued no statement regarding the disappearance of Patterson, who is said to be a supporter of the party, and her child.
On Friday, Paulwell broke his silence by issuing a statement on Facebook and Instagram, in which he said the disappearance of his daughter and her mother has been the most difficult thing he has ever had to navigate in his life.
“I have dealt with many things in my life, but the disappearance of my daughter and her mother is by far the most difficult thing I have ever had to navigate,” the Opposition lawmaker stated.
“I have spent most of my time, since their disappearance, in dialogue with the police and persons who I believe could assist in locating them. At this point nothing has brought us closer to finding them,” he stated.
On that score, the politician pleaded with persons who may have any information on the disappearances to contact the police, a family member or him.
Meanwhile, Paulwell said he was not concerned about what was being spread on social media relative to the missing persons’ case.
“The singular mission for which I have any energy to spare is safe return of my daughter and her mother.
“I am praying God keeps them safe and leads us to find them before any harm comes their way,” Paulwell wrote.
Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Patterson and little Sarayah is being asked to contact the Half-Way Tree police at 876-926-8184, the 119 police emergency number, or the nearest police station.
On social media, the theories that are being peddled about the particular missing persons’ case were certainly intriguing.
But amid it all, some persons shared their sympathy with Paulwell, who has also suffered from extortion, with his phone being cloned, as well as his bank accounts being reportedly hacked by scammers earlier this month.
“Praying for the safe and speedy return of your daughter and her mother, Comrade Paulwell. Blessings for strength to you and family in these unfathomable difficult days,” a man wrote on Facebook.
“You (Paulwell) and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. This is truly a nightmare no one should have to go through. I pray for their safe return,” a woman wrote.
Another shared that, “You (Paulwell) are in our prayers as we pray for their safe return. May God give you the strength during this difficult time.”
A man urged Paulwell to not listen to the naysayers and negative comments about the matter.
“The case might be curious, but who are we to judge. Keep strong Paulwell, and don’t listen to the negatives, and we pray your daughter and the young woman return home safe,” the man commented.