Incident highlights law enforcement’s failure to use Marco Alert system
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Police are searching for two women who allegedly abducted three-year-old Shavard Bain on Saturday evening while he was riding his bicycle in the area of South Beach Estates.
At 3:00 a.m. Sunday, police issued an all-points bulletin for Shavard Bain.
By 7:00 a.m., police reported that Bain had been dropped off at a laundromat on Joe Farrington Road.
Police reported that the child had no apparent injuries, was frightened and would be transported to hospital for an examination.
“Thank God he was returned and was okay, and it was not anything worse,” said Sherry Albury, Shavard Bain’s grandmother.
“He told us that the lady who took him spanked him and told him to shut up and they drove him around and he fell asleep.”
Meanwhile, as police continue their search for the females believed to be responsible, the toddler’s parents recalled that Shavard Bain was riding his bicycle around 5:00 p.m. on Saturday evening when a silver car pulled up with two women inside.
The women allegedly got out of the vehicle and pushed little Shavard Bain into the car before speeding off.
“His older brother was trying to pull him back, but the big red lady pulled him into the car; one of his slippers fell off and they carried him away,” Albury alleged.
“The other children ran inside and told us what happened and we could not believe it, because everyone was out front in the neighbourhood and it was so scary for something like this to happen.”
At the time of the alleged abduction, Bain was described as a slim build child of medium brown complexion. Police said he was wearing a blue Spiderman shirt, brown pants and black shoes.
The family, having contacted the police, then moved to social media in an effort to notify as many persons as possible that the toddler was missing.
The family posted pictures of Bain with the hope that someone would find him.
Other family members combed the neighbourhood and formed search groups to look for the missing boy.
Albury’s son, the father of Shavard Bain, said he was also working with the police and providing them with information that might be helpful in their search.
However, Albury said that her son along with the child’s mother were later arrested.
“One minute they were questioning him and then they arrested him for child neglect and abduction,” Albury claimed.
While thankful for the assistance of several of the police officers, Albury urged officers to be more sensitive when dealing with these types of matters.
“The family is already hurting and afraid and then you want to rough people up and do something like that,” she said. “It’s not right. They had just learned that their son was taken; how could they do that,” she questioned.
Last July, a revamped MARCO alert system was launched to streamline the activation of urgent bulletins in serious child abduction cases.
The pilot program was expected to send mass notifications among authorities, social media groups, as well as neighbourhood watch groups relating to missing children.
It was expected to mimic the AMBER alert system in the United States.
However, in order to receive these alerts, members of the public had to sign up.
The MARCO alert system was created in response to the kidnapping and death of 11-year-old Columbus primary School student Marco Archer back in 2011.
Earlier this year when questioned on the alert system, police officials reported that it was still a work in progress.