Reward offered

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Relatives of Oscar Suarez are eternally grateful for the efforts of Barbados’ law enforcement agencies to find him and his missing partner, Magdalena Devil, but 72-hours of uncertainty over their mysterious disappearance has started to take its toll.

Oscar’s cousin, Thais Sonnabend-Aguilar, told Barbados TODAY family members are now “emotionally drained” but have continued praying and waiting for any information about the couple’s whereabouts. So earnest are they in their efforts to locate their loved one and his companion, the family has even offered a US$10,000 reward for anyone with meaningful information on the couple’s disappearance.

Aguilar revealed a family network from as far away as California and as close as Florida and Puerto Rico has been following the developments and holding family meetings with Oscar’s mother, Ninfa Urrutia who is also on the island.

“We feel better knowing the people of Barbados have been ensuring they [family members] stay in the loop and we are thankful they have been so accommodating. We know that you are doing everything you can to help us right now.

“We just wish we had the answers that we were looking for and that’s the emotionally draining part of everything. We just want them back or found and we don’t have that yet. We have pieces, but the pieces aren’t coming together.

“Right now we are holding onto the hope that they are okay and this is going to be the best case scenario. That’s what we are praying for as a family,” said the tearful cousin.

Ever since the couple went missing on Monday afternoon, family members have been pleading with U.S officials for assistance and have even contacted local healthcare providers to find out if anyone fitting the description of the couple had been admitted.

“We are begging for any piece of information that will bring Maggie and Oscar back safely. We just want them to come home and we’re just begging from the bottom of our hearts,” she said, struggling to hold back her tears.

“We are a very large family and he is an amazing father and brother and cousin and son and we just want him home,” she repeated.

During an emotional 20-minute interview, Aguilar revealed that two sisters and four brothers were among the concerned family members. But the emotions of Oscar’s two children, a five-year-old daughter and a ten-year-old son, have been hardest to protect.

“We raised our kids together and they still don’t know about the situation with their father. When my niece says I want to talk to my daddy…we feel like we have to give them this ‘run around’ to keep them from asking questions. It’s emotional for us because we don’t know what else we can do.

“She’s five and she doesn’t get that yet. She doesn’t understand why she can’t talk to her dad whenever she wants. So it’s hard for us and it’s heartbreaking as a family that we are trying not only to cope for ourselves, but we can’t break down in front of our children.”

Barbados TODAY understands Oscar, 35 is an assistant director of dining services at food service company, Compass Group and his girlfriend Magdalena, 25 had just opened a small bakery.

“The few times I met her, I found her to be an amazing young lady and very talented. She has her own small bakery and that was her dream and that’s what she wanted to do,” said Aguilar, who revealed she had spoken with her cousin, Oscar just two days before he left for Barbados.

“They had been planning this for over a year and they were very excited to be taking a vacation to be getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life and when he landed and checked into Barbados, he sent me a picture of his view from his room and I told him to enjoy his well-deserved vacation. I didn’t know of a more deserving person to get such an amazing vacation.”

The couple was staying at the Starfish Discovery Bay Hotel since Saturday. According to reports, the two rented a jet ski from Aftneal Bear Abbey on the beach near Holetown around 3 p.m. and have not been seen or heard from since.

Officials from the Royal Barbados Police Force, the Regional Security Service and the Coast Guard have been scouring the area from the sky and on the ocean. Barbados TODAY understands a submarine is also being used to locate the couple.

Family members from both families were flown into the country yesterday and are being hosted by the Barbados Tourism and Marketing Incorporated.

Barbados TODAY has also been in contact with other family members including Oscar’s mother, Ninfa Urrutia and his brother Danny Suarez who are both struggling to come to grips with the unfolding situation.
kareemsmith@barbadostoday.bb

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