Lamenting the disappearance of her daughter, the mother of social-media influencer Donna-Lee Donaldson has described the heartbreak suffered by her and family members since the 24-year-old vanished without a trace last Tuesday.
That emotional turmoil has helped feed the swelling ranks of protesters who have accused the police of dragging their feet because the investigation might enmesh one of their own. The episode has spun an unfolding narrative of relationship woes and a love triangle involving another cop.
The police have not confirmed those reports.
Sophia Lug, who dubs her daughter as her “best friend”, said that she has been besieged with sadness.
“My whole world is coming down. Donna was my everything. She was my caregiver. I am so sick,” Lug, struggling to hold back tears, said during a Gleaner interview Sunday evening.
“She would get up in the mornings and she would give me my medication. She would make sure that I would have something to eat.”
The perceived slow pace of the police investigation spurred family and friends to organise a peaceful march and demonstration Sunday outside the New Kingston apartment where Donaldson was last seen.
As they walked streets flint-faced, they made clear their determination to put pressure on law enforcers to deepen their probe.
Amid the sombre setting, cheerleaders for justice delivered shrill demands for transparency and truth.
“Weh we want! Justice! Weh she name? Donna-Lee! When we want it? Now!” the leader and crowd chorused.
According to Lug, Donaldson was awakened by a call from her police boyfriend to join him at his apartment.
“After she left her Monday evening, a little after 10:30, she said, ‘My love, I am coming back tomorrow morning.’”
Little did Lug know that that would have been the penultimate moment she would hear her daughter’s voice.
Donaldson, reputedly a lover of animals, had reportedly called her mom some time after 8 a.m. Tuesday, reminding her to feed her dog.
“‘My love, please feed her for me. You don’t have to walk her. When I come home, I will walk her later,” Lug recounted her daughter as saying.
Lug said she was surprised to have received a call from Donaldson’s partner Wednesday querying whether she had seen or heard from Donaldson. Further enquiry led to the revelation that Donaldson left the boyfriend’s apartment in another vehicle after they had an argument.
Lug described the more-than-two-year-old relationship between her daughter and boyfriend as turbulent, adding that it was marked by accusations of infidelity.
Claims of a love child further inflamed tensions, said Lug.
Yet, despite her pleas to end the relationship, Lug said that her daughter maintained the union.
“I have pneumonia and I am so sick. All I want is for my baby to come home,” Lug said, fighting a bout of coughing to speak.
Senior Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, who heads the police information arm, sought to provide assurances that finding Donaldson’s disappearance was a priority.
“The investigation is ongoing. It is receiving high-level support. I know up to yesterday they went to the location where she was last seen. They did forensics and they did tests, so a lot of work has been done with the investigation,” Lindsay said in a Gleaner interview.
According to a press statement issued Sunday by the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the investigation is being carried out by senior investigators from the St Andrew Central Police Division, with oversight of the CIB HQ. Members of the Communication Forensic and Cybercrime Division are also involved in the probe.
“Consequent on reports that a serving member was among the last persons known to have been with her, a senior gazetted officer from the St Andrew Central Division has been assigned to lead the investigation,” the statement said.
Lindsay said, however, that to date, “nothing concrete” has been established. No person of interest has been declared.
“We don’t know what happened. There has been a broadening of the investigation,” she said.