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Youth motivators want Jasmine Dean found


A three-year-old youth movement — the Jamaica Youth Motivators (JYM) — has taken on the challenge of seeking public support in keeping hope alive that missing University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, student Jasmine Dean will be found.

Dean went missing on February 27 and was last seen in Papine Square, St Andrew, around 9:00 pm, dressed in a white blouse and blue jeans.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey, who heads the Jamaica Constabulary’s Crime and Security portfolio, said that the police have been utilising all available resources to find her. A suspect was arrested and questioned and later released in March.

Bailey, at a press conference last week Thursday, also said that two people have been charged and remanded in custody in relation to a SIM card that was recovered in the ongoing investigation.

But Rodain Richardson, a youth leader and organiser who is also a student at The UWI, has made Dean’s disappearance the focus of the Jamaica Youth Motivators, which he started while at Ardenne High School in 2017.

Richardson says the JYM is a non-governmental, non-profit charity organisation dedicated to youth development and empowerment, through advocacy, mentorship and volunteerism. Members distributed care packages, bought with their own savings, to residents of Hermitage and August Town, recently.

He told the Jamaica Observer that they have noticed that little has been achieved since February 27, “when the nation was crippled with a tidal wave of emotion, when news struck of the unfortunate disappearance of UWI student Jasmine Dean”.

“Fast-forward to more than three months later, and there has been little to no updates, and what appears to be stalled progress in the investigation concerning her disappearance,” he noted.

“This level of uncertainty continues to cause us great agony as the effects still ripple through our collective hearts. I can remember the distinct painful feeling in my chest when I heard the news of Jasmine’s disappearance. I remember the distinct feeling of wanting answers; that feeling still exists today, now, more than ever, as it seems our nation has forgotten about Jasmine Dean,” Richardson told the Observer.

He said that while the JYM, with a membership of 200 young people including students at UWI, Mona, understands that Jamaica has been distracted and on edge about the global coronavirus pandemic that has had a drastic effect on the general population and the economy, Dean’s disappearance should not be forgotten.

“Let us not forget about Jasmine Dean. It is rather unfortunate that, as a nation, it seems as though Jasmine Dean has slipped out of our minds and thoughts — another promising young woman taken from us in an unfathomable manner. What about Jasmine Dean?” he said.

“JYM is disheartened by the slow progression of the investigation; however, we believe that all hope is not lost and with a little unity and strength our law enforcement officials may just find that break they have been searching for. This is why it is very important not to forget Jasmine Dean.

“We sympathise greatly with Jasmine’s family and call on the relevant authorities, the nation’s leaders, to waive all political rivalries, and unite their voices to aid in bringing the responsible individuals to account, and to provide closure to the Jamaican people.

“We also call upon our student unions to help in restarting the conversation around the safety and security of our students, and finally, we implore our Jamaican people to pool our efforts into finding Jasmine and ensuring that another incident such as this never again goes unanswered,” Richardson added.

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