By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
IT has been seven painstaking and worrisome weeks for relatives of Tanario Lowe, an Abaco native not heard from since the day before Hurricane Dorian destroyed the island.
“We don’t know what to think or what to do, or where to go from here,” his sister Godydra Gardiner told The Tribune yesterday. Their grief is compounded by the thought that any remains found now would be decomposed, needing DNA analysis for identification.
Relatives are also unsure of whether he chose to ride the storm out at one of Abaco’s emergency shelters or at his home in Cooper’s Town.
But at this point, Ms Gardiner, 28, said they have exhausted all options, having searched shelters in Nassau. A report was also filed with the Central Detective Unit, which is now handling Dorian related missing persons.
“Everybody is at this point worried,” she said. “We tried to reach out to persons who are at the shelter – nobody has seen him. No one on the island has seen him.
“We are just worried at this point and don’t know what to think. If he is still out there alive somewhere we just want know where he is and that he is okay.”
She continued: “He’s already on the missing list at CDU. They said they would contact us if they get any leads.”
But that was three weeks ago.
Last week, police said four more bodies were recovered in Abaco.
Two of those bodies were found on Tuesday, while remains of another two bodies were recovered Wednesday on the island, bringing the total to 65, police said last Wednesday.
This is not comforting news.
“The death toll makes us more worried,” she said, “We don’t know if he is a part of that. They are saying bodies are decomposed and they can’t tell now and that DNA testing will have to be done.
“We don’t know what to think, or what to do, or where to go from here.”
In its latest update Friday, the National Emergency Management Agency said 876 persons were declared found in the weeks following Dorian.
However, the agency did not provide updated information on how many remained missing.
Nearly two weeks ago there had been confusion over the number of missing persons with Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell and National Security Ministry Marvin Dames giving conflicting information.
At one point Mr Campbell said 1,208 were still unaccounted for following Hurricane Dorian while Mr Dames later clarified that police have reports of just 282 people still missing.
Two hundred and fifty-two of them are from Abaco and 20 from Grand Bahama, he said at the time.
On September 11, NEMA said 2,500 were reported missing following the storm. That dropped to 1,300 on September 12. During his address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said the number of people still missing was about 600.
Earlier this month, NEMA said 424 people were still missing. This was before Mr Dames announced the newer figures.