General — 27 June 2014 — by Albert J. Ciego
Girl, 6, abducted from Benque school

A conflict between the parents of a 6-year-old girl has resulted in the kidnapping of the child from her school in Benque Viejo yesterday, and her whereabouts are now unknown.

Police said that the parents of Jermay Yoni Cancinos, 6, are Guatemalans who live in Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala, but she attends school in Benque Viejo del Carmen. The parents are feuding and live apart.

Information to us is that the girl’s mother has since migrated to the United States and wanted to take her daughter to the US with her, and this morning, an operative believed to be the child’s aunt allegedly abducted her.

The girl’s father is devastated by the abduction, which occurred at about 8:15 this morning outside the yard of the Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Benque Viejo.

Police said that the child had just gotten off the school bus and was walking into the school compound when a woman, believed to be her relative, called her, and when she went to see what the lady wanted, the girl was grabbed and put in a vehicle, described as a blue Kia Sportage, and driven away.

Since the child did not enter the school yard, the school wardens were not alerted until when the alarm was raised that the child had been kidnapped. They then called police.

Police, who launched an immediate investigation, strongly believe that the child was taken by her relative, who is a Guatemalan, over to Guatemala.

Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson, the Commanding Officer of Benque Viejo police, said that police are concerned for the personal safety of the child, and that a crime has been committed in Belize.

The relative, an aunt, has been questioned by police in Melchor, but she cannot be arrested by that town’s police, because the crime was not committed there, said Thompson.

Thompson said that the father is the child’s recognized guardian, and he pays the school fees. The child is on record as entering Belize this morning, he said, but there is no record of her leaving. The aunt is recorded at Immigration as having entered Belize, and entering back into Melchor.

However, little Jermay Yoni is still missing, and police are seeking public assistance to locate her. Anyone who sees the child or who has information that could lead to her recovery, are urged to call the Benque Viejo police, 911, or 0-800-922-TIPS.

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