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UPDATE: Mother allegedly denied access to previously missing child

Ms. Jean Wharton Cato-Matthias has allegedly been denied access to her daughter, Siriena Wharton (above) since her return to the Territory on January 23, 2014. Photo: Provided
The mother claims East End Police were negligent. Photo: VINO/File
The mother claims East End Police were negligent. Photo: VINO/File
12 year old Siriena was found in St. Thomas late yesterday afternoon. Photo:
12 year old Siriena was found in St. Thomas late yesterday afternoon. Photo:
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – A mother’s distress and maternal bindings are allegedly being stretched to its full length of pain as she says she has been denied any opportunity to communicate or visit her 12 year old daughter Siriena Wharton since her safe return to the Virgin Islands.

According to the distraught mother, Ms. Jean Wharton Cato-Matthias, she was informed by a Juvenile Officer attached to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) yesterday afternoon, January 23, 2014, that her child was back on the shores of the Territory from around 3:15pm.

“That was the last I heard from them and am still awaiting a call to say that I can get to at least see my daughter but everyone is speaking to me in a mocking manner as if I am such an unfit mother but the truth is not told yet,” she said.

According to the woman, her worse nightmare began when she was informed that the child will remain in the custody of the state through the Social Development Department. “They are the criminals and I am prepared to speak out about what is going on there because the system has been failing me when I am to be turning to them for help and guidance, they are failing me,” cried the hurting woman.

“I am going to work today and I will be glued to my phone, it would be hard for me to focus but I have to maintain my job because it was more than ten years that I hadn’t a job and now have one, I cannot eat because the food not going down because I am grieving and hurting about all my children,” she added.

Ms Cato-Matthias has promised to keep this news site informed of the developments as they occur. Contact has since been made with the Public Relations Officer of the RVIPF Ms Dianne Drayton who is expected to respond in short order.

Contact with the Social Development Department could not be made up to post time.

See previous story posted January 23, 2014:

Mother says “Missing child” now found & in police custody

- Says she cares more about her child’s safety than negative bloggers 

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – “I am at work right now patiently waiting for them to call me to go and see my child,” said an obviously emotional, Ms. Jean Wharton Cato-Matthias after receiving word that her 12-year-old daughter Siriena Wharton has been found.

In a state of some level of relief this morning January 23, 2014, the mother told this news site in an exclusive interview, that sometime after 5:00 p.m. yesterday January 22, 2014, she had received a call from the Juvenile Department of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) informing her that little Siriena was found in St. Thomas.

The child she said, was kept in Police custody overnight and still remains there as she was told that the RVIPF are conducting some investigations. “I am relieved to an extent now that they found her and am just waiting to see her."

Public Relations Officer of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) Ms. Dianne Drayton has also confirmed that Ms. Wharton has been found in St. Thomas yesterday and will be returned to the Territory after investigations. She also took the opportuity to thank the public for their assistance in locating the child.

"The missing 12-year-old girl was located in St. Thomas late yesterday and is now in the safe custody of the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) Juvenile Detention Centre. Both the VIPD and the VI Human and Social Services are presently conducting investigations before her return to the BVI. We are grateful for the public's assistance," Ms. Drayton told this news site.

Prior to receiving the news, Ms Cato-Matthias had poured out her heart about the challenges she has been facing with her daughter and her desperate desire for her to be found and reunited with her family.

“We all have our challenges in life, dealing with my daughter may be mine but everyone has their own and I can care less about what the man in the street and the bloggers are saying,” this was the painful expression of the mother.

On Monday, 13 January 2014, 12-year-old Siriena Wharton, who resides in Old Plantation, was reported missing. Police were informed then that she was last seen on Thursday, 12 December 2013. A missing person enquiry was started by the Major Crime Team which followed leads in the Territory and the USVI.

In an exclusive interview with Virgin Islands News Online, the mother, Ms. Jean Wharton Cato-Matthias of Old Plantation said that she is sick of all the bashing in the media about her situation as she feels the focus has been lost and alleged that her information was not put over accurately in some sections of the media.

She, however, admitted that over the years she has been struggling with her daughter’s alleged delinquent behaviour. “One thing I want to make clear is when my daughter went missing she was not in my care, she was not living with me then,” alleged the woman.

She recalled that the last time she had seen her child was on December 12, 2013 as they were to attend court for a hearing. It turned out that there was a mix-up in the date. “She has a curfew and she is not supposed to be on the road at a certain time.”

She recalled that on December 12, 2013 she had gone to the court from her place of work while the child had to go from home. “I saw my daughter and I called out to her and she refused to answer me. She just put her head straight and went her way.”

The woman said that the very day the child was picked up by Police officers who escorted her to her grandmother’s Greenland home. “I guess that she look to see when they were gone and she went her way. She was not with me, they had taken her to the grandmother, my child was taken from me.”

She said that the day that the missing report was made was when she was confronted by a female friend who told her that the child was seen entering a small boat bound for St. Thomas. “The woman told me she saw here and asked her what she was doing there and she said Siriena said I gave she her passport to go and get it renewed in St Thomas,” said Ms. Wharton Cato-Matthias.

The mother said that it was only yesterday that a member of the Juvenile Department and the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) collected the child’s expired passport and other legal documents and hers as well.

Claims East End Police were negligent

Ms.  Cato-Matthias said when she had confirmed that her daughter had indeed ran off, she went to the East End Police Station where she alleged they only took a verbal report did not make any documentation. “They didn’t take me seriously,” she further alleged.

She said that she was led to pen a complaint to a government Minister who she declined to name, however, it was then some action got on the way. “After I wrote the government, I suddenly see it in the media and everybody calling down my phone and all this attention but if I didn’t care I would have just sat back and let her go but I went as far as I could because I love my child no matter what people have to say.”

Call to Step Father

According to the mother, she was told that the child had made a call to her step-father and had reported that she was in St Thomas because her mother had taken her there and was to return for her. “But that’s not the truth and thank God I had two witnesses with me when the woman told me about seeing her heading to St Thomas on a small boat.”

She was not shy to say it was not the first time she has had issues with the child running, “We have issues but my child needs help, I need help in dealing with her, everybody just condemning me and not offering to help me in dealing with my child.”

The woman said that she has five children of which Siriena is number three. All her children were removed from her care. “They have my children all over and I am living alone, I am lonely without my children and I need them, I need help,” said the woman as she continued to stress that she loves her children and wants the best for them.

A release from the RVIPF yesterday had  indicated that there had been an overwhelming response of support from the public interest in the quest to finding the missing 12 year old since it was made public.


60 Responses to “UPDATE: Mother allegedly denied access to previously missing child”

  • qc (23/01/2014, 09:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    oh no seems like a good ending
    • this dont make sense (23/01/2014, 09:55) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
      how could a child be missisng since last year December and only now been reported eh someone has allot of explaining to do
      • Abby (23/01/2014, 11:03) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
        Thank goodness she is found. My question is WHO IN THE HELL TOOK HER AND HAD HER? When the U.S. finish conducting there investigation, we will all know then. This had to be a very low life person up to no good who did this. Even if someone found her walking the streets over there, they would have called the police.
      • mad.. (23/01/2014, 13:26) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
        which part of since last December the mother last seen her daughter. u don't understand.. the mother said her daughter was not stayin with her, daz y she said December was da last she see her daughter. come on this don't make sense......
    • billyb (25/01/2014, 12:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ qc
      Good ending?????
      Confusing ending to me.
      She is distraught now that she has gotten news that her child is alive and well.

      but... where was her distraught when she didn't know where her daughter was for an entire month before she reported it???????
  • well saw (23/01/2014, 09:26) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    how did she get st thomas
    • .... (23/01/2014, 09:48) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      In the report above it sated, ...."I had two witnesses with me when the woman told me about seeing her heading to St Thomas on a small boat.”
    • billy b (23/01/2014, 09:49) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
      same way teh child got
    • ting to talk (23/01/2014, 10:15) Like (5) Dislike (7) Reply
      That is the One Hundred Million question, and the mother and grandmother needs to answer for that.You do not get in to the US without your parent or guardian if yo under 18.
      • Eagle (23/01/2014, 11:07) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
        Apparently she did get in St. Thomas some how and lied to her step father about it.
    • persia (23/01/2014, 18:16) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      She certainly did not swim there
  • weed (23/01/2014, 09:32) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    hope this is NOT child neglect.
  • SMH (23/01/2014, 09:44) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    both the mother and the relatives in Rock City need to answer some hard questions!!!!!
  • Sickening (23/01/2014, 09:46) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Send her to a booth camp for troubled children... I'm sure she would change her ways
  • big boy (23/01/2014, 09:51) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    My heart and prayers are with this family.

    It seems like they are going through a very difficult time and need help on several different levels.
  • DON Q (23/01/2014, 09:51) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is ting to talk now
  • right (23/01/2014, 10:14) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    All her kids removed except this one, who keeps running away, but in her words, the child has a problem and needs help, she doesn't have a problem and need help. And we are surprised? Glad she was found safely.
  • polo (23/01/2014, 10:23) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    This thing is worst than jerry Springer look melee
  • Help (23/01/2014, 10:26) Like (37) Dislike (0) Reply
    From reading the article the mother and child do needs help. Everyone have their own trials and obstacles, some are open with it, some are silent. We might be saying why she wait until now until it got out of hand but the point is she is crying out now and lets give her the support. How many times God is calling us and we still do what we want. We all know we can train a child and tell them what is right from wrong but they have a mind of their own, we also know that not all who bear child knows how to bring them up or they might know how to but how this generation is going, what worked for us longago cannot work know new stratergies have to be implemented. Reversed psychology have to be worked. Lest stop the bashing and lets do something. We are humans and we all have feelings its just hurts sometimes to see the comments that are posted. Come on BVI lets break the chains over our lives and help our neighbour. One Love
    • please reach out (23/01/2014, 11:00) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      I don't know who you are but please in you are in the BVI call them up. Maybe the child has the world on her shoulder. ...both her and mom need you
  • really tortola (23/01/2014, 10:39) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    Until yall get off this holyier than tho bull. Yall behind the scenes folks will always be condemning people. The lady and her child needs help..what is the use of the million dollars church and youth centres if they cant go out in the communities and seek these kids out.....I pray that as a family they see God...Remember a family that prayers together stays together...calling out the youth groups in her community. ..
    To the mother: .you are a good person. Because God said you are...God would not have given you his prized possession had he not known of your ability to it is you turn to be a parent. Good luck and maybe there is someone that your child approve of as a go between....I ask the a resturant offer this mother and daughter a lunch date at least once a month. Bonding is needed.....
  • mercy (23/01/2014, 10:46) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is clear from reading some of these blogs that some people are not READING the stories, but oh .... they are quick to be giving judgement. I am not here defending anyone, I'm just saying that we should not be always quick to judge and condemn people, especially when we dont have the full story of a matter. If the truth be told, we all have our own struggles....just some of ours are more private than others. It is clear however, that there is a breakdown in the mother/daughter relationship, as well as the entire family circle because from what is read so far, there wasn't even communication from the mother to the child even though she was staying
    with family; there was no communication from the child to the mother; there was no communication with the
    family member(s) to the mother or from the mother to the family member(s) about how the child was
    doing...etc. It doesnt even seem like even though the child was staying elsewhere that the mother attempted to look for her in person to carry a gift or to at least give a hug and say Merry Christmas (I stand to be corrected if I'm wrong)....... but breakdown in so many areas. My prayer is for whatever is going on to be
    revealed (not necessarily to the public), but that truth be spoken from the little girl, the mother, family
    members and all involved to the Social Workers, Psycologists...and most importantly to God, so that the
    process of healing can begin.
    can begin.
  • Bam Bam (23/01/2014, 10:48) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Whoever frustrating this mother WILL pay!!!!!! Vengeance is mine, I WILL repays says Jehovah. It has a lot of evil and wickedness going on right here in Tortola!!!!!
    • Not The Only One (23/01/2014, 18:19) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Them taking mothers' children from them and creating issues for these mothers who are trying their best! But God Almighty up high in the Heavens and looking well low upon the wickedness and injustice on this earth. Them going to the courts and black labeling innocent mothers putting them on medication saying them "crazy". And it got some fathers who have done wickedness and evil to their wives / child mothers and up and down scandalizing the innocent wives / mothers names, but God WILL deal with these kinds as well. Whatever a man is sowing he WILL reap! Sow evil reap evil and sow good reap good. You know who you are.
  • pat (23/01/2014, 11:00) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Let’s all be happy the child is found alive from all these speculations
  • Observer (23/01/2014, 11:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    According to the report, "... the day that the missing report was made was when she was confronted by a female friend who told her that the child was seen entering a small boat bound for St. Thomas. “The woman told me she saw here and asked her what she was doing there and she said Siriena said I gave she her passport to go and get it renewed in St Thomas." The female friend should have asked Jean about giving the girl the passport the same day she saw the girl get on the boat.
    • Eh? (24/01/2014, 19:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Why would she ask her the same day? What's suspicous about renewing a passport? It only matters now that she was reported missing. DUHHH!
  • SMH (23/01/2014, 11:21) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    People here are so stupid and just hate reading. Anybody can get to/from St Thomas without clearing with the authorities. They're open islands in a place where boating is prevalent. Get off it man..
  • Goodthing (23/01/2014, 11:21) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Praise God thank you Jesus amen. Now, this child need lots of prayer she need assistance need to see a Physiologist
  • Real (23/01/2014, 11:51) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Until u could walk a mile in someone else shoes u can't judge them. It appears that this family have some hard questions to answer and some major issues to sort out but something needs to be done.
  • Amazed (23/01/2014, 13:39) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank God for mercies! f the That Siriena has returned alive! Many go and do not! Also that Jean (Mother) is seeking help.! However long it's taken, she is crying for help. Help her somebody please! Counsellor's, Psychologists, professionals get working and let us see what positivity can come out of this! I have been in the profession for over 20 yrs and have seen results when we are all singing from the same 'hymn sheet'. Let's work together and help the children, as they are all a blessing from the Lord!
  • Peaches (23/01/2014, 13:44) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Something is seriously wrong. How come this lady has 5 children and none of them are living with her? something is not right here with this picture. I am not bashing her but has she shown love to these children? at least one or two should have still been at home, but NONE? SOMETHING IS WRONG MOM!
  • zoe (23/01/2014, 13:49) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Vino you always have the details
  • Rat (23/01/2014, 14:25) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I smell a rat in this?
  • case (23/01/2014, 16:48) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    so you mean she got into rock city illigally now that in itslef may be a crime if the case
  • Shara Parlin (23/01/2014, 17:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What a travesty and must be trauma for both mother and child
  • asia (23/01/2014, 18:17) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hope this is considered a happy ending
  • long road (23/01/2014, 21:10) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    A sad story,
  • long time (23/01/2014, 21:25) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    The fact is both mother and child need HELP
  • Rebel (23/01/2014, 23:32) Like (0) Dislike (6) Reply
    imagine the distress of the child
  • really?? (24/01/2014, 09:14) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    The mother said "I cannot eat because the food not going down because I am grieving and hurting about all my children." ummmm I guess she was able to eat during the month she was missing
  • + (24/01/2014, 09:30) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ma'am please stop talking to the press. You are only compounding the issue by doing so. Seek counsel and handle the matter privately. It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
    • @+ (24/01/2014, 13:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      She is not compounding the issue. The word of God says that what goes on in the dark must come to light.....

      Darkness does not like light.

      She went to people on a one to one basis who could have helped her. Did she get help? Would you like if you were down on the ground for someone to kick you? Have you ever thought that this was her only alternative? Why not personally pray for her or call on all members of this BVI community to pray for her?
  • Not The Only One (24/01/2014, 09:38) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ms Wharton you are not the only one this apparent evil has befallen. Praise, praise, praise Jehovah God Almighty that you are now working. Pray for ALL your five children and then give him many thanks for their return to you even before you see it. Pray, believe and wait (endure). Pray for your persecutors too, and ask God to help you to love them (your persecutors) and forgive them. Pray for their best. Be strong in Him (Jehovah). Don't Give up!!! See Luke 18: 1 - 8...the widow and the unjust judge.

    If I and others could only get your number to encourage you at this time. Please send to news site. Don't return evil for evil. Jehovah says vengeance is His and He says to keep conquering the evil with the good. So when people do you evil, just smile and return good to them!!
  • r and b (24/01/2014, 12:19) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Seems like a lot of things about this sisuation we do not know
  • OB (24/01/2014, 12:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Simple any mother, responsible MOTHER I dont care if she is in jail or on another island would still keep checking in on their child. They live in the same area, what is so wrong for the young girl mother to call the grandmother, 'I know we dont talk but how sirena, she sleeping, can you put her on the phone to see if she will talk to me, what you doing sunday I will pass over, merry xmas, happy new, she needs anything, etc.' What was so hard for the grandmother to call the mother to verify certain information, etc. Dam a child in your care and gone for more than a day and that not a red flag? This should have not come this far and we failing to see it. IT SHOULD HAVE NOT COME THIS FAR. Some serious communication skills need to be introduce to this whole family from grandmother come down as far as i can see this girl is playing her family members. I am glad she is back safe but this situation really needs to be look into. We always quick to quote bible and using the bible to justify, this is a wake up call we as parents need to get out acts together. This whole family needs help
  • Jane (24/01/2014, 13:05) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    Am happy that they not allowing her to see the child. what took her so long to report
    t she was missing in the first place?
  • warning (24/01/2014, 13:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mrs. Cato at least you didnot go to St. Thomas and aborted your children, praise the Lord. You did tried your best with your children and God knows your heart and He will see you through. I can proudly say you asked for help and you always said you loved your children and you want to see the best for them. Sorry this is happening to you, cheer up, keep a level head and hold your head above the water please!please don't lose focus, keep your head high and keep on smiling baby girl. Stamp out negativity and embrace positivity. Your daughter is trying to find her identity. This is a warning and message for all parents, it can happen to anyone of us who have children. Be careful how you throw stones. Today for Jean tomorrow for anyone of us and the outcome mignt not be as good as Jean's. Oh! be careful little mouth what you say, Oh! be careful little hands what you type, Oh! be careful little ears what you hear. Me warn you
  • Just My Two Cents (24/01/2014, 18:36) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Am I the only one who think this mother is seeking her 15mins of fame?
  • pride (25/01/2014, 09:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    You all have not given the poor mother and child a break!
  • cousin (25/01/2014, 15:24) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Jane be strong in The Lord. You know your child behavior.all these negative a bloggers said stop talking yo business because people will always talk what they know the situation and I know so be calm.thats whats sirrena wanted she get it now. They even ain't tell u come to identify your child they call u and tell u she would not be in your care but when u want to see her u can see her where she is but cannot be removed.god don't sleep and don't like ugly. DOnt worry jane. One day she will come home cause u know she don't keep still. Prays u will have all yo children just have patience

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