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MISSING PERSONS: In the twinkling of an eye

Carlos Atwell

MISSING PERSONS: In the twinkling of an eye

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VELVETEEN HINDS had a headache and decided to rest her head for a few hours – and this was all the time seventy-eight-year-old Austin Seymour Fields needed to disappear.Two months later, Hinds, a teacher, still has no idea where her friend has gone.“He suffered from dementia but he was not in the habit of wandering away from home. I used to go to work and to church and come back and he would be fine. It’s very disturbing,” she said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.Hinds said it was around 2 a.m. on April 21 when she awoke and went to check on Fields in his room and pray with him. She said she had a “really bad” headache so she went into the front room to sit and “rest her head”. She fell asleep and awoke around 6 a.m. to find that Fields was no longer in the house.Share the houseWhat makes the case even more baffling is the fact that three other people share the house but no one heard or saw anything.“I live with my son, a daughter and a granddaughter. I alerted the rest of the family and we went to look for him for around an hour before we contacted the police. It really took us by surprise: If I can go to work and church and come back and find him home, how can he be gone now when everyone was home?” she said.Hinds said Fields came to live with them in Dean’s Village, Hindsbury Road, St Michael, about14 years ago, and they had shared a son.She said he used to be a watchman so he worked at night and stayed home during the day, adding he loved to cook and work around the house. She said he startedto exhibit irrational behaviour only about two years ago.“He started to forget things and speak incoherently. Sometimes I feel guilty and tell myself if I didn’t have that headache I would have heard him get up. Every time I talk about it, I feel so sad,” she said.Hinds said she had searched in Bridgetown and in Christ Church, both night and day, to find Fields. She said hope sprung briefly two weeks later when someone told her they were certain they saw Fields nearby in Station Hill.“A man told me he saw him looking as if he was heading home so he didn’t stop to pick him up. I still hope and pray I will see him (Fields) alive again,” she said.Harsh realityThe family has had several dreams about Fields since his disappearance, from seeing him walking in traffic to bringing him home, but so far it has been only  dreams as the harsh reality is that Fields is still nowhere to be seen.She said she was happy with the efforts of police as only recently an officer informed her they were still on the case. She also said she appreciated the WEEKEND NATION for revisiting the case and again bringing the matter into the public eye.At the time Fields was wearing along brown pants, a white shirt and no shoes. He is about 5 feet 9 inches tall, slim and of light brown complexion. He has an oval face, grey hair, beard and moustache.He is also balding and has an erect appearance and a deep voice.Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Austin Fields is asked to contact the police at District “A” Police Station at 430-7142 or 430-7246; Operations Control at 430-7100, emergency 211 or the nearest police station.
THIS SERIES highlights some of the missing person cases across the island. If you want a case highlighted, please call 430-5478/430-5565 or 430-5485 Or email [email protected]