Human bones were recovered near a salt pond in Wilikies on Monday afternoon in the search for Shamar Harrigan, a 19-year-old autistic boy who went missing three weeks ago.
The remains were found a few yards away from articles of clothing as well as a bag and shoes identified by family as belonging to the teen.
The discovery was made after several attempts to search the area over the 23 days he was reported missing.
Ms. Richardson-Walter who lives nearest to the bushy terrain told Island Press Box (IPB) that previous search teams had been called off due to persistent rain.
She recalled at one time seeing a helicopter canvassing the bushes: “At one time I actually got scared before I knew what was really taking place”.
The elderly woman said she had left home early that day to run some errands when she received a call from her daughter informing her that lines of vehicles were blocking the entrance to her home.
She returned home shortly after 12pm to find a crowd of people and yellow caution tape cordoning off an entrance to the thick bushes.
Due to the rugged terrain that leads to the pond, anyone attempting to go near the area is thought to likely have come from the east end which is the opposite side from where authorities entered. Members of the search party recalled having to trek through tough branches and bushes during their efforts.
The boy’s mother, too distraught to speak with media, came and went several times during the search, arriving again just after 4pm at the very moment that officers of the Criminal Investigation Unit emerged from behind trees with brown evidence bags and equipment.
The scene made the crowd of onlookers rowdy as they pressed officers for information about their findings. But despite speculation, the police have warned the family and others not to jump to conclusions as they work to scientifically identify the remains.
The search party included members of the Blue Dragonfly Foundation who worked alongside the police and their K9 Unit, family members and friends of the family.