EXCLUSIVE: Mom Fights to Bring Family Home from Bahamas

am-800-josie-mcdonagh-september-7-2019

A local mother is mourning the loss of her daughter and pleading with the government to return her grandson and son in law from the Bahamas.

Emotions have been compounded by the fact Josie McDonagh hasn't been unable to have her daughter Alisha Alishia Liolli's remains brought home.

The special education instructor had been living on the island with her husband Danny and son Evan when she was killed during Hurricane Dorian.

September 1st is last time McDonagh heard the 27-year-old's voice, a few days later she would receive the tragic news. Now McDonagh must cope with the loss of her daughter while trying to bring her 17-month-old grandson and his father home, and it's not going well.

She says the Canadian Embassy in Abaco promised to have everything in place to get her loved ones home, but when they arrived, there was no paperwork.

With very few working phones left on the Island, McDonagh hasn't heard from Danny since Friday. Her only point of contact is the embassy and she says it's not doing enough to help.

"It's not like they're calling to give me updates, I have to call them to give them updates on phone calls, phone numbers," she says. "I told her, 'you're there, I'm in Canada. How can I help? You should have people on the ground looking for them and looking for that information.'"

She says Evans is a Canadian citizen, and Danny has a Canadian Visa.

"There are no words, I'm so heartbroken and I don't know what else to do. Right now, my main concern is where is Evans? He's Canadian and he should have been there on the first flight," says McDonagh. "The last text that I got from my son in law said, 'mom, I need your help. I know you're the rock of the family because my wife was the rock of my family and I know you can do something to get us off this island.'"

Windsor-West MP Brian Masse has been away dealing with a personal matter of his own, but says his office has been in contact with McDonagh.

The New Democrat says they'll do everything they can to reunite her with her family.

 

— with files from AM800's Rob Hindi.