The United States (US) is among countries that will be assisting Dominica as the search for a child who was abducted at her home on Tuesday night continues.
At a press briefing on Saturday morning, four days after 12-year-old Kernisha Etienne was taken, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said the island is receiving assistance from external sources such at the French and RSS (Regional Security System), and the government is now finalizing plans for assistance from the US.
However, he did not go into details.
“We are also discussing and finalizing some assistance from the US government as well,” Skerrit revealed. “But for obvious reasons we decided not to share specific aspects of the support we are receiving.”
He said the government of Venezuela has been in contact with him indicating they are on standby if the need arises “in any shape and form” but again did not go into specifics.
He explained the reason for this is because the matter is more than just a missing child.
“There is another component to it and therefore the decision has been taken not to share the kind of support we are receiving,” the prime minister stated.
He said the government is exploring all strategies and deploying all resources in the search.
“I really want to thank, first of all the police, for their steadfastness,” Skerrit stated. “This is a 24-hour operation that has been going on from day one. And also the public. The public has been very responsive to the call…”
He however cautioned volunteers to desist from going live while on the search or at the command center that was set up to coordinate the operation.
“And also the media too, there are certain things we have to be careful that we don’t publicize and disseminate,” he remarked. “Because those things, while they are good-meaning, they may jeopardize the efforts. And so let us be guided by the Deputy Chief of Police and his officers as to how we go about this but the live shots while people are out, the photographs, the videos, you know, these things are not helpful.”
He pointed out that although those things are not being done out of malice, he asked that they are not done going forward.
“But we continue to press on,” Skerrit stated. “This is a priority for us.”
Etienne was abducted from her home on Tuesday night by Kian Alexander, who the police said is of unsound mind.
They have not been located since.