By: Fatou Darboe
A young boy goes missing for a month without a trace, and a family is left grieving with no way to assuage their pain.
The family of 15-year-old Alagie Barry has not seen the teenager for weeks, and his absence has thrown relatives and friends into grief amid worry about his safety.
Alagie, a native of Yunnan village in the West Coast Region, was last seen in an Islamic boarding school where he is enrolled to memorize the holy Quran, according to his family.
The elder sister of Alagie, Binta Bah, said his brother was allegedly sent away by one of his teachers following a two-week absenteeism from School which subsequently led to his disappearance.
“Since that day, he was not seen anywhere,” Binta said.
“I received the news that Alagie was missing two weeks later when I was in Basse. So I started searching for him when no one in the family was aware of it, but they came to know,” she added.
At first, the search for his brother became a setback for Binta as some of the family members rejected her idea to share the news with the Police or the media to help in their efforts.
“Alagie’s Aunt did not want us to share the information with the Police or the media, and when we did so, it was already late. So this cannot be kept secret anymore,” Binta argued.
“This is very unusual of the boy. He is always home when he is not in School, but unfortunately, this happened,” she added.
Missing person cases involving both young and elderly victims are becoming a worrying trend in The Gambia, most especially in the Greater Banjul Area.
Like other families who went through similar trauma, Alagie’s people are still uncertain about finding their beloved son.
Meanwhile, efforts to find the young man continue, with Police aiding the community to locate Alagie and reunite him with his family.