LESS than 24 hours after veteran parliamentarian Phillip Paulwell reported that his 10-month-old daughter and her mother had gone missing, his partner entered the fray denying that she had anything to do with the suspected abduction.
Hours later a social media post claiming to be from the woman, who the police identified as 27-year-old Toshyna Patterson, said she and little Sarayah Paulwell were not missing.
However, up to press time the police were still reporting the two as missing while Jamaica Observer sources claimed the post was fake.
The saga surrounding Paulwell, the Member of Parliament for Kingston East and Port Royal, started to deepen on Sunday morning when his partner of several years, Leoda Bradshaw, issued a statement in which she denied having anything to do with the disappearance of Patterson and the baby girl.
“The only interaction I have ever had with Ms Patterson is through a brief Facebook exchange,” said Bradshaw in the statement.
“I have never spoken to her by phone nor have I made any arrangements to meet with her. Any such reports in social media are lies and will be passed on to my lawyer for action to be taken in the days ahead,” said Bradshaw who is an attorney based in the United States.
“I have shared all information I have with the authorities and I hope their investigation will lead to the safe return of Ms Patterson and her baby girl,” added Bradshaw.
She later told the Observer, in a telephone interview, that claims Patterson received a call from someone purporting to be her and saying they want to meet the baby should be investigated.
“I have never spoken to this young lady, we have never met; how do you pick up yourself [and why] would you meet with a stranger you don’t know,” added Bradshaw as she noted that reports were that Patterson was picked up in a gold van by a male driver who was wearing a dark shades.
“Why did you mention my name…my information was not public knowledge,” added Bradshaw.
In outlining the sequence of events surrounding Paulwell, who sits on the Opposition benches in Parliament, Bradshaw said in May their eight-year-old daughter was sent sexually explicit photos, which were later followed by e-mail threats and extortion attempts.
She said the matter was reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the Broward County Sheriff’s Department Internet Crimes Against Children in the US.
They later reported the matter to the Jamaican authorities.
“The threats against our child continued for months as the authorities investigated,” said Bradshaw.
She added that on Sunday, September 3, an e-mail was sent out making threats that personal information on Paulwell would be released to the public.
“They also made damning threats against our child,” said Bradshaw.
According to Bradshaw, on Tuesday, September 5, she received an e-mail from an address, which is being withheld by the Observer, indicating that Patterson had a child with Paulwell.
“I spoke to Phillip and he confirmed that he had a brief relationship with Ms Patterson and it is possible that the child was his, but he was not certain as a DNA test had not yet been done,” said Bradshaw.
“This was the first time I was hearing about Ms Patterson and the child,” added Bradshaw.
She said she sent Patterson a message on Facebook Messenger advising her that Paulwell had opened up to her about their involvement and the possibility that the child was his.
“I advised her that Phillip and I would ensure the child is taken care of financially and a DNA test would be done to ensure that Phillip was the father of the child.
“As can be seen from my exchanges with Ms Patterson, there was no anger but just a genuine wish to see that an innocent child is taken care of and not caught up between two parents no longer in a relationship,” said Bradshaw.
She added: “I will continue to work with the local and US authorities to get to the bottom of the threats against my family, in particular our young daughter.
“I will continue to pray for the safe return of Ms Patterson and her baby and ask anyone with information to contact the police.”