A major search is underway for 50-year-old Jamaican landscaper Junior Peters who mysteriously went missing a week ago.
With the help of the Jamaican association and other residents here in the BVI, his brother Direau Ricketts has been scouring several communities across Tortola and said he has no intention of relenting.
“I intend to search until I find him. I have to find something. We haven’t told our mom as yet, and that’s why I am eager to find something so when we go to her to tell her, we just want to tell her something positive when we talk to her,” Ricketts told BVI News during a search party on Thursday, July 2.
“We have searched the immediate area where the incident happened, and we haven’t found him there, so we are going to widen the search across the BVI … We are going above McNamara, across Joe’s Hill, and back to Sea Cows Bay. Yesterday (Wednesday), we did Trunk Bay and Brewers Bay and Beef Island,” he further told our news centre.
Rickets, the owner of Dareo’s Jerk Centre in Road Town, said he last saw his brother having lunch at the establishment last Friday.
One day later, Peters — who is a landscaper at Government House where the governor resides — went to prune a tree at a residence in Horse Path and was never seen again.
Peters’ disappearance has been described as a mystery by many who joined the search on Thursday afternoon.
“To me, somebody hurt him,” a woman opined.
“Apparently he did not get a chance to do nothing at all,” another woman surmised after looking at the untouched tree that was supposed to be pruned.
A police press release issued on Thursday said Peters was last seen around 4 pm on Saturday, June 27 at Horse Path.
“His disappearance is out of character, and there is a serious concern for his welfare,” the Royal Virgin Islands Poice Force (RVIPF) said in the release.
Witnesses reported seeing Peters sitting on a large rock just outside of the residence.
“The next day the victim’s tools/machine used for landscaping was met in the same location as the day before. On Monday the tools were seen in the same location along with the pruned vegetation which drew the suspicion of tenants of the said building. This prompted an immediate search of the area where personal effects of Mr Peters were found,” it continued.
What appeared to be a bloodstain was also found on the concrete dead-end road and on a wall near where he was last seen.
Search by law enforcement and service workers
The days that have followed have involved several searches around the Horse Path residence by Police, Fire, Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR), Governor’s Office, Search and cadaver dogs and volunteers, but those efforts have proved futile.
House-to-house enquires were also conducted in the surrounding neighbourhood but to date have yielded no results.
Anyone with information relating to this matter is asked to call Detective Inspector Vernon Larocque directly on 284-368-9809 or the Major Crime Investigation Team on 284-368-5682.
“Police are also asking for anyone residing in the general area of Z-King Radio Station to check around their premises to see if Mr Peters would have sought shelter on their property based on a possible injury. All information will be treated with the strictest confidence,” the release added.
Peters a father of two
Peters has been described as a ‘quiet, peaceful and loving’ man who has called the BVI home since 2006.
He is married with two children. His son resides in the territory, but his wife and daughter live in Jamaica.
Ricketts said his family “are very much distraught about what happened”.
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