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Schoolgirls feared kidnapped

By RHONDOR DOWLAT Friday, February 13 2009

ANTI-KIDNAPPING Squad (AKS) police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the abduction of two schoolgirls, aged seven and eight, in unrelated incidents between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Up to late yesterday, the whereabouts of seven-year-old Jenny Martinez of Heights of Guanapo and eight-year-old Leah Sammy, of Tom Street, Longdenville were not known.

Police said that on Wednesday at about 2.30 pm, Martinez’s mother went to pick her up at a primary school in Arima, only to be told by teachers that at about 11.30 am, a man came to the school to pick up Jenny. Martinez’s mother was told her daughter was allowed to leave with the man. The mother, police said, began screaming and crying saying she did not send anyone to pick up her child.

In the other incident, on Tuesday officers from the AKS received information that Leah was dropped off by her mother, at about seven o’clock that morning, at the Edinburgh 500 Government Primary School.

Leah’s mother contacted her and told her to travel home after school ended because there was no one available to pick her up. The report stated that at about 4.30 pm, when Sammy did not return home, the mother called her cellular phone and a male voice answered.

The man said that he had Leah and wanted $300,000 for her safe release.

He also threatened to harm the child, if the ransom was not paid. Police said the woman started to cry, telling the man she was very poor and did not have that kind of money.

Police said the man told her he would have to talk to the boss and promised to call back at 10 pm, but no further contact was made. An investigating officer told Newsday that while they are treating Leah’s disappearance as a kidnapping, they are not ruling out other possibilities.

In addition to the abduction of Martinez and Sammy, police are also investigating the disappearance of a 26-year-old woman who failed to return home after going on a job interview. A ransom demand of $300,000 has been made for the woman’s safe release.

(SEE PAGE 4)

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