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Police fears grow for missing woman

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Police issued a fresh appeal yesterday to friends of a missing young mother after her “suspicious” disappearance.

Officers said it was unlike Chavelle Dillon-Burgess — whose 27th birthday is today — to be away from her “pride and joy” toddler son for more than a month.

Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley said last night: “We hope that we are going to find her well, but given the length of time that she's been missing, obviously we are extremely concerned that either she's been held against her will or something else has happened to her.”

He said in a video on Twitter earlier: “We are getting extremely suspicious in regards to what has happened to her and her current whereabouts.”

Mr Corbishley added: “We need to find her and if anything has happened to her then we need to actually deal with the people that are responsible.”

He was speaking after Detective Sergeant Jason Smith said at a press conference yesterday afternoon: “During the police investigation into the circumstances surrounding her disappearance, several warning markers have been raised, leading to suspicion over her disappearance.

“Some of these indicators are that none of her close associates, friends, have seen or heard from her since April 11, which is uncharacteristic of her.

“She has not seen or cared for her 18-month-old son for over a month, which is also uncharacteristic of her, as he was her pride and joy.”

Police said that Ms Dillon-Burgess was reported missing by her mother, Rose Belboda, on April 30.

Mr Smith said: “We are also encouraging friends of Chavelle who have not made contact with the investigating team to do so now.”

He told them: “You may have information that is invaluable to the investigating team that you may not be aware of.”

Mr Smith added: “Her disappearance was not reported until three weeks had passed since the last time she was in communication with anyone.

“This is the first time that Chavelle has gone missing.”

Mr Smith said that the inquiry had attracted huge public support and “several hundred” people had volunteered to help in the hunt for Ms Dillon-Burgess.

Members of the public joined police officers and Royal Bermuda Regiment troops in the searches, which Mr Smith said had covered “just about 95 per cent of the island to date, without success”.

Mr Smith said: “When considering all of these points, it is the view of the investigating team that her disappearance should be treated as suspicious.”

He asked members of the public to keep helping the police and to report any sightings of Ms Dillon-Burgess, especially after April 1.

He added: “Let us as a community unite to bring her home to her son and her family.”

Mr Smith thanked people who had taken part in searches for the young woman, and particularly Antonio Belvedere for organising the efforts.

He said: “Bermuda has a population of over 60,000 eyes and ears that can spread the workload a lot further than the 450 members of the Bermuda Police Service.”

Mr Smith added that when the “Goliath strength” of the public was coupled with police resources, “working together we can bring closure to the family and friends of Chavelle”.

He explained that Ms Dillon-Burgess's son was with family members and police were confident he was safe.

Acting Superintendent Arthur Glasford said that no one had been arrested in connection with the inquiry.

Police carried out a search last Friday of the house on Hillview Road, Warwick, that Ms Dillon-Burgess shared with defence lawyer Kamal Worrell, the father of her son.

Mr Glasford confirmed that officers executed a search warrant, but declined to comment further.

He added: “We hope that we can find Chavelle alive and well.”

Mr Glasford asked the public to contact police investigators with information, rather than “circulating stuff on social media”.

He said: “We would rather that doesn't take place.”

Anyone with information that could help the inquiry should contact Mr Smith on 717-0864 or by e-mail at jsmith2@bps.bm.

People can also contact the anonymous and confidential Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-8477 or phone the police call centre on 211.

On occasion The Royal Gazette may decide to not allow comments on what we consider to be a controversial or contentious story. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

Appeal for help: Detective Sergeant Jason Smith (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Acting Superintendent Arthur Glasford, front, and Detective Sergeant Jason Smith (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Police at the home shared by lawyer Kamal Worrell and missing woman Chavelle Dillon-Burgess last Friday (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published May 12, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated May 12, 2020 at 9:02 am)

Police fears grow for missing woman

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