MONTEGO BAY, St James — The family of 14-year-old Tijourn Wilson is asking for the public’s assistance in locating the young girl whom they say runs away from home often.
Tijourn, a grade eight student at William Knibb High School, is believed to have left her family’s home in John’s Hall, St James, on January 1, her aunt Jennifer Allen told the Jamaica Observer.
Allen explained that the girl’s family is of that impression as Tijourn had also left home on December 26 of last year. However, she later returned.
“We went on a trip on Christmas Day and she came with us. The next day her father called and said him don’t see her and him nuh know which part she gone,” the girl’s aunt said.
Sharing that she played a major role in raising the girl, Allen told the Sunday Observer that they have had to report her missing to the police countless times. According to Allen, the family has sought medical attention and intervention in the form of counselling sessions for the girl. But, she bemoaned that the family has lost track of the number of times that the teenage girl has turned up missing, even after those attempts at intervention.
“I had her living with me from she was nine months old and I had to give her up. She nah behave herself. She was following friends and she nah listen when we talk to her so a policeman said I must give her back to her father. I sent her back to her father about one year now,” Allen said.
“Whenever she comes home we bring her to the doctor and the doctor calls a counsellor to come to talk to her. She’s always saying yes, she is going to behave herself,” Allen said before her voice trailed off.
Allen told the Sunday Observer that she has been in a constant state of worry since the teenager disappeared on New Year’s Day.
“I don’t feel good about this because it’s been such a long time. This is not the first time she has been missing from home but this is the first time she has stayed away for so long. That is why it has me so concerned,” she said.
The girl’s aunt said that she has since launched a search party around the city of Montego Bay with the hope of locating the teenager. There have also been social media posts aimed at garnering attention and spreading awareness of the family’s search for the runaway teen. Unfortunately, Allen said that while people have reportedly seen Tijourn, the family has not had that luck.
“Up to yesterday we went searching for her. We really don’t know her friends, but someone said that they saw her and she tried to hide, so I think she is in the Montego Bay area but we really don’t know. Yesterday when mi go out searching for her, mi tired suh till. I walked around asking people if they have seen this girl in the picture, but we could not find her,” Allen said.
Tijourn’s father Wayne Wilson told the Sunday Observer that he has been left in a state of confusion since the teenager left home close to a month ago. He said that he remembers telling the girl that the new year marked the introduction of some new rules at their home.
He said that the conversation started after he learned that Tijourn would sometimes skip school and on the days that she does attend, the youngster would return home in the night with little or no valid explanation as to why.
“She comes in from school late with a bag of excuses, or anytime she knows that mi soon come in from work, she disappears from the yard to hang out with some friends wah she nuh suppose to hang out with. Right now none of those friends can give any account of where she is,” Wilson said.
“I told her that this is a new year so there are new rules, because she was going to school whenever she feels like it. She was unruly. She got notes to do and she would say that she is not doing them. I always sit down and tell her that I am sending her to school to learn,” he added.
When questioned about the details surrounding Tijourn’s latest disappearance, Wilson told the Sunday Observer that when he left for work on the morning of January 1, the teenager was asleep in her bed. However, on his return home, she was nowhere to be found.
Since then, he has been tirelessly searching for his daughter.
“This stresses me every night because she nuh suppose to do me this. I warned her that one day I’m going to get tired of her behaviour. I told her that anytime she started to behave like a big woman I am going to let the relevant authority deal with her, but everyday mi give her one more chance until my blood pressure went up. My mouth even a tremble [while] mi deh here a talk,” said the girl’s father.