Uma Davi Sewpersaud was aged just 13 when she disappeared, with the teenager last seen getting off a school bus in September 2002 in Orlando, Florida.
Her disappearance has confused many. While the Police believed she had fled to her native Guyana, there have been doubts on the feasibility of this. Some suspect foul play.
This article takes a look at this disappearance. At the end of the article, there is a reader’s poll, which you are encouraged to vote on! Then, we will be able to see what the consensus is among our readers as to what happened.
Uma Sewpersaud was born in 1988. She was of Guyanese descent. She lived with family members at the time of her disappearance.
Uma looked young for her age. Despite her being aged 13, she was under 5 foot tall, making her look more like a young child than a teenager.
On 28th January 2002, Uma set off for school as she normally would. By all accounts, she seemed to be in a normal mood.
Once the bus arrived at her school in Orlando, Florida – Gotha Middle School – Uma got off as usual. What happened over the next few hours is unknown.
Uma didn’t return from school later that day. She was eventually reported as missing by her family. Uma was never seen again.
Unfortunately, there is very little news on Uma’s disappearance. Most seemed to consider Uma as a runaway, rather than suspecting any foul play.
With Uma being of a low income family in a poor neighbourhood, sadly, there seemed to be very little focus on her disappearance. It didn’t help that the disappearance took place in a city where the Police’s resources were already stretched due to a high level of crime.
The Police worked on the theory that Uma was a runaway and left on her own accord. While a small investigation did take place, there were very few resources devoted to the case.
The Police believed that she had travelled to her native Guyana – after intentionally running away from home. She had family in Guyana at the time.
However, it has been questioned how she could have got to Guyana by herself. Realistically, she wouldn’t have been able to get on a plane by herself without arousing suspicion.
One family member was known to have been in trouble with law enforcement in the past, but was never considered a suspect in her disappearance.
There has been an alarming lack of updates on Uma’s case. Florida is a state with an enormous number of missing children – sadly Uma appears to have been lost amongst the masses.
While she does have family in Guyana – it is unlikely that she is with them. If Uma was located, it is likely that this would have been publicised.
There is very little news on her family, or what efforts they have gone to in order to try and find Uma. There is an overall lack of information available online.
The lack of media attention on Uma’s disappearance has been cited as an example of “missing white woman syndrome” – which is the argument that white women receive the most interest in disappearance cases, while men and those of an ethnic minority (like Uma) fade into the background.
Given the lack of information on Uma, it is difficult to suggest possible theories. However, looking at this case from an outside perspective, there are a few potential theories:
Theory One: Uma Sewpersaud was kidnapped
There is a chance that foul play was involved. The fact that Uma was last seen getting off the bus means she is likely to have walked off somewhere.
Perhaps she was persuaded to walk away with someone. Or maybe she walked away, only to then be away from school and was kidnapped by a passing opportunist.
Either way – unfortunately – so many of these disappearances end in a kidnapper killing their victim. Given the lack of media interest, it would have surely been easy to get away with it if someone did kidnap Uma.
Theory Two: Uma Sewpersaud fled to Guyana
The Police suggested that Uma had ran away from home and eventually fled to Guyana. This would explain why she has never been found.
Given that Uma fell off the radar, a country like Guyana, where she would fit in very well with the locals, would suit her well. She could have easily lived there without attracting any attention.
The exact circumstances behind Uma’s disappearance are unknown. We don’t know how her family life was. If Uma wanted to escape her family, Guyana could be an excellent location.
Many have suggested Uma would have surely come forward in her adult years. But if she was fearful of her family, then it would make sense for her to remain quiet. It is possible that she is still alive.
However, it is questionable as to how a young girl could make it to Guyana all by herself. Flying is unlikely, as this would have resulted in many questions being asked. Yet driving there would also be unlikely – as she would’ve needed to travel for a long time and rely on hitch-hikers.
Theory Three: Family involvement in Uma Sewpersaud’s disappearance
If Uma did wander off, she may have done so while in the company of a family member. This family member might have had terrible intentions with Uma.
They may have killed her and then disposed of her body. It is known that one member of the family had been in trouble with the law before – so such an event may feasibly have happened.
However, this sort of avenue is normally investigated, and nothing has linked any family member with Uma’s disappearance. Instead, they have remained out of the media spotlight.
With the above theories having been explored, you can now vote on the theory that you believe is the likeliest in the poll below:
Uma Sewpersaud’s disappearance attracted very little interest, which seems a tragedy in itself. In recent years, her name has hardly been mentioned.
Hopefully she is alive somewhere. But given that she has not been heard from in over two decades, this seems unlikely.