There were reports all afternoon and into the night Monday that a missing nurse’s body had been found in the Barkers area of West Bay.
Those turned out not to be true; but that doesn’t mean police could ignore them.
Royal Cayman Islands Police Superintendent Marlon Bodden said officers were called out to search an area near Barkers Monday evening, but turned up nothing in the end.
“We would ask individuals not to get involved in that kind of rumour mill, because it only serves to cause pain to the families,” Mr. Bodden said.
Kerran Baker, 25, of Jamaica, disappeared sometime after 7pm on Saturday, 30 July. Her Blackberry, which police have not found, was used after that time but police have not determined whether that usage was by her or someone else.
Ms Baker was reported missing just after 7pm on 31 July – about 24 hours after she was last seen – by a friend who entered her Bodden Town home and found unattended bags of groceries and the missing woman’s purse on the counter.
Her white Honda Civic was found the next day in the Pedro St. James Castle area.
At press time, RCIPS investigators still had no idea where Ms Baker might be and said incidents similar to what happened in Barkers Monday weren’t helpful.
“It’s unfortunate that rumours got a way of becoming facts in the Cayman Islands,” Mr. Bodden said. “I don’t know who would have started it….certainly it will impact on investigators’ time.”
“We can conclude that report [Monday] was false and malicious,” RCIPS Chief Superintendent John Jones said.
Mr. Bodden said investigators looking into Ms Baker’s disappearance have spent days searching through more than 60 hours of video from closed-circuit television cameras around Grand Cayman.
He said officers were working two at a time viewing the videos, some of which have no rewind or fast forward features.
“It’s very challenging and you can’t take any of it for granted,” he said.
Police have had no luck trying to trace Ms Baker’s movements after she was spotted on a CCTV camera at the airport Foster’s grocery store the night of 30 July.
Reports that she was seen in Lower Valley and at the Domino’s Pizza in Savannah haven’t been confirmed. Officers have also had difficulty in tracing Blackberry instant messages sent between Ms Baker and some of her friends, which could assist to further pinpoint her whereabouts after 7pm that Saturday.
Police have also not finished testing “materials” found near Ms Baker’s car in the Pedro Castle area which they said could prove important to the investigation.
Anyone with information about the case or Ms Baker’s whereabouts is asked to call the RCIPS hotline at 949-7777 or Cayman Crime Stoppers at 800-8477.