Missing for 44 years: Family reignites search for missing daughter who was cared for by Novena Church churchgoer

Let’s use the Internet today for good and help this family find their missing daughter in a 44-year search that has still come up short.

Facebook user Jen Vaz posted an appeal on her page Saturday (Dec 8) to help find her sister, Joanna Sabrina Vaz, who has been missing since 1974.

The appeal, which has been shared more than 300 times as of press time, was launched because Jen’s mother, who goes by the name of Philo, wants to see her missing child as she turns 80 this coming February.

A photo of Philo taken in September 1970 (Photo: JEn Vaz / Facebook)

The reason why Joanna went missing was because Philo was suffering from post-natal depression having to take care of five children, so she took up one lady’s offer to help look after Joanna when the child was 4 months old.

Two months after that, the lady and the child did not visit Philo’s house and it has been that way ever since.

“It was never her intent to give the baby away; she was seeking a temporary situation for someone to look after the baby while she got her life back together,” said Jen on her Facebook post.

“Don’t we all wish we could undo one decision?”

Jen and her mother Philo in a photo taken in 2012.
(Photo: JEn Vaz / Facebook)

Unfortunately, the family does not have any photos of Joanna but they hope her caretaker at that time — a woman who goes either by Lakshmi or Laxmi that Philo met at Novena Church in 1974 — would be the missing link in the search.

Jen estimates that the caretaker’s daughter, if alive, would be in her 60s or 70s now. At that time, the caretaker and her daughter stayed in Sembawang with Philo’s daughter.

This is not the family’s first appeal for a search; after an initial search through the media in 1974 bore no results, Jen tried again 20 years later but was admonished by her father for allegedly bringing shame into the public eye. Her father has since passed away.

The post has received love from friends as well as other Singaporeans hoping for a miracle to happen to the family.

Jen has said that she and Joanna look like her father, thus she shared her own baby photos on the Facebook post in absence of Joanna’s.

Jen’s photo when she was a baby, taken in the mid-1970s (Photo: JEn Vaz / Facebook)

While it may sound like a long shot, let’s hope the family gets reunited before Philo turns 80. Parties who know any details about Joanna or Lakshmi can contact Jen on her Facebook page.

This article, Missing for 44 years: Family reignites search for missing daughter who was cared for by Novena Church churchgoer, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. For more Coconuts stories, you can download our app, sign up for our newsletters, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.