March 26, 2010
Young mother still missing after two years

It has been two years since Marsden Ashton first came to SEARCHLIGHT appealing for help in finding his missing daughter, Monifer Stephen.{{more}}

Since her disappearance on March 8, 2008, Ashton and the North Leeward community of Spring Village where he is from have not been the same.

Ashton believes that the persons responsible for his daughter’s disappearance – for he believes that she is dead – could have already been arrested for the crime.

He believes that a lapse by the police and the failure of persons who claimed to have useful information surrounding her disappearance, to come forward have left the case cold.

“We had people who would come to me and tell me that they saw the guy in Spring that night, but when we went to the police with that information and the police confront the person, he or she would say that they don’t know what we talking about.

“People think that when you call a man name these days with them things, the person would end up and come back and take revenge.”

Recapping what happened on the Saturday evening two years ago: Monifer and some friends had gone fishing and returned for a cook out.

She came home but left for the shop to buy a phone card.

Instead, she returned with a can of Pringles for her two daughters, Ronice and Kellis Stephen (now six and three years old).

“She ask her daughter to give her a bowl to put her food in when they finish cooking,” Ashton concluded. “When she lead out with the bowl, up to now… nothing.”

The father of three said that his only daughter left without her cellular phone because the father of her daughters had promised her a new phone, along with money for the children.

Ashton believes that the persons responsible for his daughter’s disappearance were known to her, making it easy for them to carry out their crime.

He indicated that one of the believed perpetrators is still walking the streets of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, while the other younger suspect has since been sent to England by family members.

“I gave the police information and they say they will investigate but they never did,” he lamented.

He indicated that a recent conversation with Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Lenroy Brewster shows some promise, and he is hoping that the police will make a breakthrough.

ACP Brewster, in a phone interview with SEARCHLIGHT, confirmed that he spoke with the grieving father, and indicated that police are still working on the case.

“The case is not closed; it is just cold,” Brewster pointed out. “Once there is anything new we will proceed. In the absence of that it would be futile to proceed.”

The veteran policeman said that he understood the emotions of Ashton and other family members who are in similar positions where they would like closure for their missing or killed loved ones.

He noted, however, that suppositions and hearsay cannot be taken to court.

Brewster also admitted that when approached by police, potential witnesses often change their stories.

He noted that persons with information on any crime could come to or call the police without fear, if they have information.

Ashton is making an appeal for anyone with information pertaining to Monifer’s disappearance to come forward so that he can get justice and closure.

“It don’t make any sense a man stay on the outside and tell me he saw the man, that’s not going to do nothing.”