MISSING PERSONS – Gone, clothes and all
THE CASE OF Rachida Bascombe has featured in THE NATION many times.However, today Missing Persons focuses on the kind of person Rachida was, as recalled by the people most directly affected by the 12-year-old’s disappearance. Rachida’s mother Hermena Straker, of 4th Avenue, New Orleans, St Michael, and grandfather Whitfield Nurse, of Accommodation Road, Bush Hall, St Michael, painted two different pictures of the first form Parkinson Memorial student who vanished eight years ago.Lots of walking“She used to like a lot of walking ’bout, and used to come home late – sometimes at 10 p.m. I had to talk to her often, but she would not listen,” Nurse said at his home on Wednesday.On January 2, 2002, Rachida left her grandfather’s home never to be seen again. Nurse himself had gone off at about 8 p.m., so, according to him, his granddaughter must have left sometime after. When he returned two hours later, he realised she was gone and had taken some of her clothes with her. It was then he reported her missing.Felt sadNurse said on Wednesday he felt sad about her disappearance, but did not believe anything bad had happened to her. In his view, Rachida simply ran away.“She could take care of herself. The things she wanted I could not give her, things like jewellery,” he said, adding she had only spent a couple weeks with him and his mother before she left.However, Rachida’s mum Straker said her daughter was not one to roam the streets at all hours and hardly ever gave trouble.“She used to be into her schoolwork, and wanted to join Girl Guides in second form. But she never made it through first [form],” Straker added. Hope lostShe said her daughter, who would have been 21 come October, still played on her mind often, especially when she looked at one of her nieces, whose complexion is similar to Rachida’s.The many stories previously carried in the NATION show Straker still firmly believing her daughter was alive – even once appealing to whoever had taken Rachida to let her go. However, she told Missing Persons she no longer believed her daughter was alive, even though no body has been found.Rachida was about five feet, brown-skinned, with a small face and of medium build. She was last seen wearing a pair of dark blue jeans, a blue T-shirt and blue rubber slippers. She was known to frequent both Paradise and Ocean View roads.If anyone has any information that could lead to the discovery of Rachida Bascombe, he or she is asked to contact the Major Crime Unit at 430-7192 or 430-7193, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIPS, Operations Control at 430-7100, Emergency at 211, or the nearest police station.