The destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian is seen from the air, in Marsh Harbour, Abaco in September, 2019.
(AP Photo/Gonzalo Gaudenzi)
By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN broke down in tears Friday as he testified about the missing status of his brother who is believed to have died after Hurricane Dorian struck his home in 2019.
Peter Davis said he filed a missing person’s report to police in October 2019 on not hearing from his older brother, Ezra Davis, after the powerful Category Five storm hit.
Mr Davis, who was also living on Abaco at the time of the storm, said he last spoke to his brother on August 31, the day before Dorian made landfall.
He is among dozens who gave testimony this month at the Coroner Court’s inquest into the presumed deaths of people reported missing after Hurricane Dorian.
“He was in Marsh Harbour when I spoke to him because I was in Sandy Point and I asked him how he was doing and he said ‘this is going to be big storm,’” Mr Davis told the court via Zoom.
“And I asked him if he needed money or anything like that and if he wanted to come down and stay with me, but he said he was okay.”
In the aftermath of Dorian, Mr Davis said he made several calls to his brother to find out how he fared during the storm, but was unable to reach him.
Having not heard from his brother for several days, Mr Davis told the court he and his aunt decided to drive up to his home in Marsh Harbour to locate his whereabouts.
However, when they arrived there, the Abaco resident said, “everything was gone.”
“The house was (gone). His car was there. The generator was flown about…but everything was destroyed. There was no sign of him,” he told the court.
Asked by Coroner Jeanine Weech-Gomez if he ever spoke with neighbours to find out what happened, Mr Davis said he spoke to several people who knew his brother.
However, only one person told him they had seen him just before the storm.
“He said he gave my brother a ride home,” Mr Davis added. “But he said when he dropped him off, the pressure of the storm was too (serious) for him to go back. He said he asked my brother if he was gone be all right (before he left) and he said ‘yeah’, but he said that was the last time (he saw him).”
Asked what he believed happened to his brother, Mr Davis said he really hopes his brother isn't dead, but added the family has not heard from him since Dorian.
“If he was alive, I would’ve known because he stays in contact with my mother and that’s not like him (to not contact our mother),” the Abaconian said.
He also told the court that his mother, who currently lives abroad, needs closure.
Asked what would give his mother closure, Mr Davis said he had hoped police would’ve found a DNA match after he submitted samples in hopes of locating his brother’s body.
He added that his brother was well known by the police in the community.
In response, Coroner Weech-Gomez advised Mr Davis to keep in contact with police officials over the matter, noting that officers are currently working to retrieve “fresh DNA” from family members for some new DNA testing method.
Dorian hit Abaco on September 1, 2019, as a Category Five storm. The storm’s official death toll is 74.
The inquest continues on Thursday at 11 am.