Serena was found unharmed Wednesday evening in Union, Castries after she went missing for almost two weeks.
The family friend, who requested anonymity, said she was “shocked” by the statements made by bloggers on St. Lucia News Online (SNO).
“I was recently on your site and shocked at what some people were writing,” she said.
The friend said Serena was well taken care of.
“Hell no! Serena was not being mistreated at the guardians’ house. She had a room to herself, new clothes and shoes, food to eat and they loved her as her own. She would lie on her bed as she watched television and slept on her guardian’s lap at church,” she added.
The friend further stated that the guardians also helped Serena with her homework and “ensured she had what she needed for school – new shoes, socks, ribbons etc”.
However, the rules were strict for Serena who had been living with her guardians since April following the death of her mother from liver failure. Social Services entrusted Serena in the care of the guardians.
“The guardians live in a good community so there were no negative influences around her. She was encouraged to speak with and see her friends; however she was not allowed to bring boys to the house or go on dates as she had frequently requested.
“Coming from a home with little to no structure, she did not respect the rules of the house and did not seem to understand that her guardians could not allow her to go certain places or engage in certain activities for her own well-being.
“They (the guardians) were not aware of Serena’s deep-rooted problems. It was only after she disappeared that they found out it was not her first time doing such and of some of the activities she engaged in.
“In my opinion she is the perfect definition of an at-risk teen. Her behaviour did not stem from her mother’s death as they are just finding out. She has been displaying such behaviour for a while,” the family friend explained.
SNO disclosed to Serena’s guardians, the comments made by the family friend. However, the guardians refused to elaborate on the comments, saying only that they have been doing their best for Serena and are happy she was found unharmed.
The guardians also told SNO that Serena came into a “deeply-rooted” Christian home and nothing but the best was given to her.
“We have requested to remain anonymous as her disappearance had taken quite a toll on my mom, not because we had not done anything wrong as some have assumed,” said one of the guardians.
They are thankful to everyone who assisted in the search for Serena.
The guardians also told SNO that they’re not aware – as yet – of anyone being held responsible for Serena’s disappearance.
“I would like to again thank the media, the police, human services and the public for their support and assistance. All we wanted was for her to be found unharmed which is the ending that we got,” the guardian said.
Meanwhile, the family friend said she too is happy that Serena is now confirmed safe but emphasised that despite all the good treatement “I don’t think she (Serena) appreciated what they got her”.
Police have not released any details surrounding Serena’s whereabouts and current location. The guardians are also clueless.
“The RSLPF would like to thank persons who assisted in locating her. This is the direction that the police and community should head into, the ability to work together. Thank you to all,” the police stated in a Facebook post this morning.
SNO first reported that Cox had disappeared from her guardian’s home at Caye Mange, Gros Islet. She was last seen by her guardian at about 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 31, 2014.
The RSLPF is appealing to members of the public to inform a family member or friend of their whereabouts whenever they wish to leave their place of dwelling for extended periods.