Missing Monkey Town teenager found

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Mariah Richards –

Four days after she went missing, 13-year-old Mariah Richards has been found.

Acting Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob gave the update on Friday during a press briefing at the Police Administration Building, Port of Spain.

At the time of the update, Jacob said, the teen was safe at the Child Protection Unit in Port of Spain. He gave no other details.

Jacob said, “I just want to make this plea to parents and to all young people in relation to the use of social media, the use of Facebook, interacting and making arrangements with people who we don’t know – parents need to look in to see where their children are at on the computer, It is creating serious difficulty.

“The Child Protection Unit will indicate how many instances we had where young people are being advised and coerced in different ways which end up in unfortunate situations.”

On Monday at 8.46am, Mariah left home at First Branch Trace, Monkey Town, to buy bread at a nearby shop, but did not return.

Her father Devon Richards reported her missing to the Tableland Police Station after noon on the same day.

Her parents received two phone calls a few hours after her disappearance. One caller told the parents they “made a mistake and picked up the wrong person.”

When Newsday visited the family on Thursday, Richards said Mariah’s activities, including what she did online, were heavily monitored.

He said the furthest she was allowed to go without supervision was the two nearby shops. If she needed to go to the grocery, slightly further away, she had to go with an older relative.

He explained, “We had a situation about two years ago where she was going to school and went to lime with some friends.”

Since then,” he said, withour giving details of what happened, “I took control of her movements. I’m retired, so I have the time. Ever since that, I made it a rule that she would not leave here without my consent. When I said she going somewhere, then she went.”

Investigations into her disappearance are ongoing.