By Cecily Asson Tuesday, August 6 2013
A search is now on for a policeman who disappeared with his four-month-old son, 22 days ago, after he failed to give up the baby to a social worker and fellow officers despite numerous promises.
The baby, Caleb Edwards, is at an age where he is breast fed, and his mother Theresse Roy, 31, has revealed he is also under medical care for a breathing condition and seizures.
Roy has not seen her baby since July 15, when his father, a police constable, took him from her home at Agostini Village, Rio Claro to meet his paternal grandfather and relatives at a village in east Trinidad.
“I don’t know who to turn to or what to do again,” a distraught Roy told Newsday yesterday. “I am totally stressed, unable to eat or sleep since he is gone. All I am asking is for his father or any family member to help me get him back.”
A senior police officer at Rio Claro Police Station confirmed a manhunt is on for the policeman who is also deemed to have abandoned his job. The constable, Newsday was told, recently appeared in court on bribery charges and the matter is due to be heard on October 11.
Roy said she ended her relationship with Caleb’s father when they began to have problems.
“I allowed him to see (Caleb) as often as he wanted but he wanted us to be together and I didn’t want it. I don’t know if he is doing that to get back at me,” she said.
Roy is also very worried about the health of her baby, who is due to undergo tests for breathing problems he began experiencing shortly after he was born in March.
“One month after he was born he had to be warded and doctors have been running tests on him to determine why he has breathing problems. They are expected to do further tests on him but he is not at home,” said Roy, who has three older children, Kaleem, 13, Tia, nine and Sapphire, four.
Roy, an unemployed accounts clerk, said at about 7 pm on July 16, the day Caleb was expected back home, she received a call from his father who said it was too late to travel to Rio Claro with the baby and she would see them the next morning. The policeman never took Caleb home.
Roy said she was able to contact a relative of the policeman who confirmed he had visited his family in east Trinidad. The relative related that the policeman told them Roy had given him the baby.
“But that is not true, how can I give away my baby?” Roy cried. “Why would I want to do that?”
Roy said the policeman’s relative shared her concerns that the baby was away from her for so long. His own family has tried to convince him to return the baby, but he refuses to listen, Roy said.
The policeman has not answered any of Roy’s calls to his cellphone but he has sent her messages.
“He kept sending messages to me saying that he is a police officer who knows the law and is protected. He said his police friends will not help me and that I will not get my child,” said Roy.
The worried mother has made reports to the Rio Claro, Chaguanas and San Fernando police stations, as well as the station where her son’s father was last assigned. Roy said she was advised by police officers to file for custody of the baby, which she has done and the matter comes up for hearing next month.
Social worker Valerie Metievier of the National Family Services, Rio Claro, a unit of the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development, has been assisting Roy and confirmed yesterday they were “dealing with issues that were at a sensitive stage.”
Supt Johnny Abraham of Central Division also confirmed Roy contacted him last week asking for help to find her baby.
“All efforts are being made to find her baby for her. It is very sad that one of our own is being linked to the missing child but make no mistake we will help her,” Abraham told Newsday.
Roy gave officers the constable’s phone number which they called and he promised he would return Caleb.
On two occasions, arrangements were made for the baby to be returned to a social worker and a senior police officer, but the policeman never showed up, Roy told Newsday.
On July 24, the policeman was to hand over the baby to Metievier at her Rio Claro office, but he failed to show.
Five days later, on July 29, the policeman again failed to return the baby this time at the Mayaro Police Station where Roy and officers waited until 5 pm.
“We just sat there waiting in vain and he never showed up with the baby,” she said.
Every day Roy visits or calls the stations hoping to get good news but the officers only tell her the policeman and her baby have not been found.