A day after St Ann businesswoman Janet Hardie was shot dead during a domestic dispute, a young man from Kingston – Junior Paige, is claiming that he recently discovered that he indeed is the missing son that Hardie spent nearly 20 years trying to locate.
The two met in Kingston last year, but opted not to do a DNA test because – among other things – there was rising tension between Paige and his Kingston relatives.
Paige came to public attention last year after The Star newspaper reported that he did not have a birth certificate, does not know his biological father, and that his mother Marva McCarthy died a few years ago.
At the same time, The Beacon coincidentally published a story with Hardie appealing for the return of her son – Rojay King – who disappeared at five years old during a beach trip in St Ann on the Sunday afternoon of March 10, 2002.
Readers compared the stories published by The Beacon and byThe Star. They claimed that there was a striking resemblance between Paige who never had a birth certificate and Hardie’s son who went missing.
The Beacon, along with another news entity, subsequently assisted in having Hardie and Paige meet in Kingston.
Following the meeting, the young man’s family got wind of the situation and started to fume.
Hardie, out of fear for her life, pulled out of an arrangement to have Paige do a DNA test.
Paige, in an exclusive interview with The Beacon this morning, dropped the bombshell that he said he discovered recently.
“I recently found out that I am Ms Hardie’s son,” he said, adding that he was trying to contact Hardie, but he had lost her telephone number. He did not treat the matter as urgent.
“I lost the phone that I had, and so I did not get in contact with Miss Hardie. I was still trying to get back in contact with her until I saw yesterday that she has passed away,” Paige said, adding that the killing has affected him.
“Knowing the fact that she finally wanted to meet her son that she had lost some 20 years ago, it is very hard to handle right now, knowing that Ms Hardie was my mom and that the people around me were lying to me that my mom died three years ago,” Paige further told The Beacon, adding that he will attend the funeral if he finds the fare.
Asked how he could be certain that Hardie is his mother without a DNA test being done, Paige said some of his relatives recently confessed that he – over the years – was claiming the wrong mother.
“The elders were hiding things; I recently found out that they are hiding things,” added the youngster who grew up with different people in Portland and Kingston.
He stated that, based on information provided, he is now 23 years old – about the same age as Hardie’s son who disappeared.
Hardie, in the meantime, gave birth to another son years after the first one went missing.
However, she, over the years, never lost hope that she would have found the son she lost.
Hardie, in a 2015 post on her Facebook page, wrote:
Hardie, in an interview with The Beacon last year, disclosed that she had been advised to host a memorial service for her missing child in an effort to secure closure.
She turned down that advice.
“I never lost hope,” Hardie previously told The Beacon in an exclusive interview. She added: “My son is a big man now, and I expect him to feel not [like] himself and to try to find me.”
By Horace Mills, a journalist who has been covering the Janet Hardie story for some 10 years. He, in the year 2010, received a FairPlay Award for a radio news feature hinged to the child’s disappearance.
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