Two years since the disappearance of mother-of-five Anna Evans, her family are hanging on to hope that one day she will “walk through the gate and come home”.
Colleagues, family members and dignitaries, including Cayman Islands Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connelly, paid tribute to the 37-year-old landfill worker in a service of remembrance on Friday at the government-run facility in Grand Cayman where she worked and where she was last seen on January 27, 2011.
The site was the focus of an intensive search involving police, volunteers and a K9-unit flown in from Florida in the days and weeks that followed the disappearance. But no trace of Anna has ever been found.
Two years on, the trail has gone cold and police admit there have been no new developments.
Anna’s sister, Noreen Dixon, said time had not made the loss of her sister any easier. But she still clings to a flicker of hope that the mystery will be solved.
“She was a wonderful person,” Ms Dixon said. “She was loving to everybody.
“I had a dream on Monday that she came home,” she added. “I wish and pray to God that one day that dream will come true. I still hope she will walk through the gate and come home.”
Ms Dixon, 40, who is taking care of Anna’s five children – Christopher, Celina, Chelsea, Cody and Cruz – said she was doing her best to be strong for their sake.
“Right now, we just try our best to be around those children more and to love them as best we can because their mother is no longer with them,” she said. “It is hard at times. Sometimes I will see them depressed. They try to smile, but no one knows what they are going through.”
Anna’s brother, Kent Rankin, gave a reading during Friday’s ceremony, which also included prayers and gospel music.
Mr. Rankin, 40, said it had been an emotional day for the family.
“She was one of the greatest sisters anyone could ever have,” he said. “She is still missing and we have no answers. “If it was an accident, maybe I could get along with that but if somebody has murdered my sister I don’t know if I could live with myself,” he added. “She’s the sweetest woman you could ever hope to meet. She has five beautiful children that love her deeply and miss her every day. Words can’t say what she means to every one of us.”
Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden, who hugged and consoled family members during Friday’s service, said authorities would never give up the search for Anna.
He said: “The case will never be closed. The family need closure, they need to know what has happened.
“My presence here is very much to send that message that we are still involved,” he added.
The Cayman Islands Department of Environmental Health closed its offices in Grand Cayman on Friday morning so Anna’s colleagues could attend. About 70 people, including family, were present for the service.
Anyone with information can call police on 949-4222.