Thirteen-year old Justus Monrose has been missing for over two months and his family has no intentions of giving up their search. Justus was reported missing on Friday, May 18 by his mother Phillipa Damaze from Marchand. He was last seen on Thursday, May 17 at about 2:30pm wearing white short pants, a blue and white T-shirt and a black pair of sneakers. According to police reports, “at the time he was carrying a white and green Jan Sport backpack with two stars on it.”
On Monday, July 30 Justus’ nine-year-old sister Princess stood around shyly in the family’s tiny kitchen when the STAR paid a visit. She wasn’t quite brave enough to be interviewed, but when it came to details surrounding her brother’s disappearance she quickly filled in the gaps if her mother hesitated.
“He was under the house fixing his bike and I sent him to buy some fish for me to cook,” the boy’s mother said of the day her son went missing.
While cooking Phillipa Damaze asked Justus to hold his youngest sibling, a one and a half year old baby boy, which he did. After that his mother says he bathed and left the house.
“His father told me he didn’t see when he left, he moved so fast,” Phillipa continued. “I know he had a white pants and a white shirt, that’s the only clothes I don’t see in the house. When it was about 8pm his father came in and I told him Justus hadn’t come home yet, which was strange because he usually calls no matter what. Rain, thunder, sickness . . . I told his father he hadn’t come home and he was like, maybe he’s by his uncle. We went by my uncle who said he hadn’t seen him yet. We went down by Baccarra and some people said he’d been there riding his bike with his friends.
“I really don’t know what happened . . .” Phillipa says trailing off. “Maybe he was kidnapped.”
Justus has 10 other siblings and his mother describes him as “a good child who was nice to everyone.” Often he and other youngsters would play make shift drums in Castries for spare change.
“I don’t think he has any reason to run away,” she said. “We got along well, but that day he was supposed to bring his sister’s school clothes to spin dry. My sister told me he came up there vex. So I asked her why he was upset. She told me he was saying, ‘My mother send me and spin dry the clothes, my mother could have brought the clothes inside.’ The time I washed, if I had done that they would not dry.”
Justus disappeared just weeks before sitting Common Entrance examinations. His mother remembers how excited he’d been about his performance in mock examinations—he’d even come home with a medal.
“He came home and said, ‘Mommy, the next award I’ll bring home for you is a big football trophy.’ I used to tease him saying, ‘When you going to bring that big trophy?’ He loves football, but he’s slightly visually impaired and he has asthma.”
“The school did a special prayer for him, but now school is closed” Phillipa added. “His teacher cries all the time. Justus would always came home saying someone at school had beat him up, then his father would go to the school and reason it out . . . He would always come saying the children did him this, the children did him that . . .
In the midst of our interview Justus’s eldest brother Cleus popped in with a heartfelt message: “I feel so bad since my brother is missing, it’s been over two months. I’m not getting any information about him and I miss him. If he’s out there I just want to tell him, anywhere he is just come back home. We all love him and I’m really thinking about him.”
Justus’ grandmother Elgitha Mathurin has not had an easy time since the disappearance of her grandson.
“I’m always praying for him,” she says. “That if anybody sees him they let us know where he is. I’m praying night and day for that little child. I’m not eating, I don’t know where he is . . .
“He would come by me after school,” she continued. He and his cousin would always go to school together. One day his mother called me and told me she didn’t see him. The same day he went missing I came from church and saw him by his mother in Marchand. I asked him where he was going and he told me he was going on the Chausee by a Rasta fella there. I don’t know which Rasta fella. I told him stay by his mother’s house, don’t go anywhere. He didn’t listen to me.
“He wasn’t troublesome, he was a good little boy,” she added. “Always quiet, laughing, smiling. The police were searching for him, I don’t know if they’ve finished with everything now.”
Elgitha says the family received a call recently from someone who claimed to have spotted Justus in Vieux Fort. The elderly woman had immediately gone to Vieux Fort with the boy’s mother and one other person.
“We searched the whole day,” she said. “I went down there searching with the picture, asking everybody if they’d seen him. People were telling me ‘I saw that child there, I saw him pass there
. . . I never saw him.’ The person called and told me come and take him, when I got down there I didn’t see him. I don’t know.”
According to a press statement from the RSLPF, police are continuing efforts to find the missing 13-year-old. Justus Monrose is brown skin in complexion; of slender build and has brown eyes. He wears his hair in dreads. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Marchand Police Station at 456-3885, the nearest police station or the family at 726-5978.