The sister of a George Town landfill worker who disappeared on Jan. 27, 2011 has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the missing woman’s estate and her five children. [*]
The writ, filed on Jan. 26, six years since 37-year-old Anna Evans was last seen alive at the landfill, is brought by Noreen Dixon against the government Department of Environmental Health.
The department was Ms. Evans’s employer when she disappeared in January 2011 during her work shift at the landfill that day. She was never seen again.
In the writ, Ms. Dixon claims damages for injury resulting from the “loss/death of Anna Evans caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default of the defendant pursuant to the Torts Reform Law (1996 Revision).”
In addition, the suit seeks damages for injury and loss “arising out of the defendant’s breach of statutory duty and/or breach of contract and/or the defendant’s negligence and/or breach of duty …. ”
The lawsuit also claims interest and costs for legal fees in addition to compensatory damages. No monetary amount is stated.
The lawsuit does not specify in what ways the Department of Environmental Health may have been “negligent” or in “default” in relation to the missing persons case.
The Cayman Compass sought responses to the writ from the Department of Environmental Health, its supervising ministry and the attorney general’s office, but none were received by press time Wednesday.
Ms. Dixon has been taking care of Ms. Evans’s five children, Christopher, Celina, Chelsea, Cody and Cruz, since their mother’s disappearance. The eldest children are adults now, but Ms. Dixon said the youngest – Cruz, now 13 – still asks almost daily what she thinks happened to his mother.
“He needs closure,” Ms. Dixon told the Cayman Compass in December. “Our hearts are already broken into a million pieces. We need closure.”
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s Criminal Investigation Department said Wednesday that Ms. Evans’s disappearance is still an “open missing persons case.” Typically, the police do not declare someone legally dead until they have been missing for seven years.
The U.K. also sets a seven-year time frame for a person to be declared legally dead, but also allows a family to apply to court for an earlier declaration.
The RCIPS investigated Ms. Evans’s disappearance in early 2011 and are aware that her husband was assaulted just a few hours after her family members learned she did not show up at the end of her shift at the landfill on Jan. 27, 2011.
The assault, RCIPS Chief Inspector Richard Barrow said at the time, happened because the individuals involved believed the man had something to do with Ms. Evans’s disappearance. He was never arrested or charged in connection with the investigation. No other suspects were arrested in connection with the disappearance.
Editor’s note: Ms. Dixon clarified, following publication of this article, that the legal action is a protective writ aimed a protecting any claims the family may bring on Ms. Evans’s behalf while the investigations into her disappearance are concluded.