Territorial Police Chief Winsbut McFarlande said the search for 24-year-old Lyana Serieux continued Wednesday, and he said he feels strongly that the community must help solve the brutal deaths of her two young boys.
“We have to do all we can. This community should be angry,” McFarlande said. “It’s got to be fresh in our minds.”
A passer-by discovered the bodies of Jordan Serieux, 10, and 5-year-old Jeremiah Serieux just off South Shore Road late Tuesday morning after they and their mother were reported missing over the weekend.
Police found what appeared to be Serieux’s Toyota Yaris torched and abandoned Monday night on a farm in Estate Upper Love.
The bodies of the two boys were discovered soon after police concluded a press conference Tuesday morning regarding the disappearance of the family.
McFarlande said members of the public joined officers Wednesday in searching for Serieux on St. Croix.
“We’re still focusing on the East End before we move to the west side,” McFarlande said. “It’s a tragedy what’s happened. They had hardly started to live.”
Senate President Myron Jackson said the deaths of the two boys “is a wake-up call to our community that requires intervention on all levels.”
Jackson added: “It is very disheartening that the hideous and unconscionable acts of violence in our society escalates to the degree of destruction of our children by the hands of adults who are to provide the guidance and protection.”
McFarlande said members of the public are urged to join daily searches for Serieux; in fact, their participation could prove critical.
“We’ve got a lot of ground to cover,” he said.
Searches will take place every day.
McFarlande said anyone interested in searching for Serieux can gather at 9 a.m. at the Patrick Sweeney headquarters building.
Anyone needing information about helping with the search can call police spokesman Glen Dratte or Chief Detective Naomi Joseph at 340-778-2211.
McFarlande said Serieux’s mother called 911 on Sunday to report her daughter was missing.
“She saw her mother on Friday,” Joseph said. The family became concerned when they couldn’t contact Serieux, and had “exhausted all means” searching for the family before coming to the police. “We can’t find her,” Joseph said the family told officers.
According to Joseph, the family said “everyone who she knows” had been looking for the family. “We need your help” was how the family described their concern, Joseph said.
Serieux is described 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighing 140-160 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes and brown complexion.
“Lyana Serieux was last seen at the Lagoon Complex, heading to her residence in Cane Estate,” located behind Kmart West in Frederiksted, McFarlande has said.
Serieux was last seen at about 5 p.m. Friday. Police have said they believe her car was set afire that same day.
The bodies of the boys suffered decomposition when found Tuesday, perhaps meaning they had been dumped soon after they were last seen Friday.
McFarlande said Wednesday that officers are intently focused on identifying a suspect in the case, but he said he can’t talk about it to any extent.
“We don’t want to jeopardize this in any way,” he said.