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By Theresa Goodwin

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Today will be especially hard for the family of an elderly woman who are marking precisely a year since she went missing on May 72019.

That was the last time 74-year-old Hyacinth Gage was seen by one of her daughters who left her at Mount St John’s Medical Centre to undergo some routine blood tests.

Gage, from Potters, was supposed to meet up with her daughter after completing the procedure but this never happened – and no one could account for her whereabouts after she was dropped off at the hospital.

To date, and despite numerous searches being undertaken by relatives, law enforcement and members of the public, Gage’s disappearance remains a mystery.

Yesterday, her daughter Patricia Joseph told Observer the family has not given up hope, especially in light of the fact that they have yet to find a body or any other evidence to suggest that their mother is not alive.

She also explained that, despite strict measures in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, members of the family who are living in Antigua are still searching for clues with the support of the public.

While they continue the search for “a positive closure”, the pain of not knowing has become unbearable for the family who, Joseph said, are finding it more and more difficult to cope.

“One of our sisters, her birthday is the day after our mother’s disappearance and for her it is a major challenge. The rest of us are having difficulty sleeping and it has just been really hard for us.

“We are also concerned about the fact that police have found skeletal remains weeks ago and we have not heard information from them about the sex of, or identity of, those remains,” Joseph said.

The family has renewed its appeal for the public to come forward with any information they may have about Gage’s whereabouts, whether they have sighted her in the past, on public transportation, or otherwise.

“Any bit of information will help us to create a proper timeline and may lead to a positive closure which we are really seeking,” she said.

To mark the one-year anniversary of her disappearance, Gage’s family will be using technology to connect with each other to share their fondest memories of her and to draw on each other’s strength.

Meanwhile, police said that while searches for missing people may not be conducted on a large scale after a period of time, officers continue to ask questions and make inquiries in various communities in an effort to bring closure to families.

“Even if the glimmer of hope seems very faint, we still have that level of optimism that we will find positive clues. These investigations do continue,” said police spokesman, Inspector Frankie Thomas.

Speaking specifically to the discovery of skeletal remains in the Buckley’s area recently, he explained that while he understands the anxiety among some family members, those investigations, which are not quick and easy, are ongoing.

Inspector Thomas reemphasised the need for patience with the investigations, underscoring that police have not given up hope and neither should relatives.

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