It’s a 50-step climb to get to Shannice Cooper’s home along Belmont’s hillside, but with each step the cries of her mother, Annette Philbert get louder and more distinct—cries that pierce the quiet of Boissierre Lane.
“Nobody don’t know! Shannice come home! I missing you! Why, why, why!”
A family member gave us an apologetic look while Cooper’s mother wailed holding onto her walker.
“This is how it is with her for the longest while,” the relative told us.
It’s been 21 days.
Shannice Cooper, 31, was last seen leaving her home on August 28, to go to work at the port in Port-of-Spain.
“I was on my bed and she was getting ready to go to work and then she told me she was leaving. That was the last I heard or saw of her,” Philbert said.
Since then Cooper’s cellular phone was found damaged in Woodbrook. A male relative was detained for questioning, sent to the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital for an evaluation and then released on Sunday. Apart from that, Philbert said information has been hard to come by.
“I’m not getting any information, nothing to hold on to. It’s very frustrating knowing your only child out there and you don’t know anything. My belly hurting and my heart hurting.”
To make matters worse, Cooper is six months pregnant with a baby boy. They already picked out a name.
“We going to call him Jayceon, we were making a lot of plans and making joke because sometimes I would ask her how baby Jaycee sleep last night or she would make a joke in the night and say that my grandson praying,” Philbert said with tears in her eyes as she looked over some of the baby clothes Cooper bought for the unborn child.
Cooper’s aunt, Pauline Cooper, meanwhile, finds it suspicious that nobody saw or knows anything about the port worker’s disappearance.
“If on that morning the neighbour said she was on her phone and speaking to someone telling them exactly where to meet her, I think that person knows where Shannice is.”
And while they are optimistic, Pauline says they have to be realistic.
“We are aware of how things could go, and I’m really pleading with the person who placed their hands on my niece. Please, she has family who loves her. She is not a person who would just go out there and not tell her family. She’s very disciplined where that is concern.”
The family is asking anyone with information to call the police.
They said the police advised them not to give out their personal information in case anyone tries to extort money from them through ransom demands.