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BABY DIES

By NALINEE SEELAL and RACHAEL ESPINET Saturday, April 19 2014

click on pic to zoom in

LESS than 24 hours after a mother tearfully buried her two murdered children, another mother is now mourning the death of her three-month-old baby girl, although both the mother and father of the child are now in police custody.

Police sources said they have two conflicting reports on the circumstances surrounding the death of the baby and added that both parents of the child could remain in custody over the long Easter weekend as investigations are continuing.

One report made to the police is that the three-month-old baby girl and her three brothers aged two, six and 11, were left home unattended by her mother who had gone into Port-of-Spain to gamble on Thursday night.

When the woman returned home at about 4 am yesterday, she saw only her 11-year-old son at home and asked him for the other children. The boy told his mother that his father had arrived and taken away the other siblings to his house, located not too far away.

The woman is said to have gone to the home of the children’s father where she saw him asleep on a bed with the two sons and the baby girl. When she realised there was froth seeping from the baby’s mouth and that she appeared to be dead, the woman made a report to the Besson Street Police.

However, another report, is that when the father of the children — who separated from the mother two weeks ago — demanded sex from the mother and she refused, he took the children from her house and went back to his home.

At about 4 am yesterday, when the woman went to check on her children, she saw them in bed with their father. The man’s left shoulder was over the baby’s face and the baby appeared to be dead.

The second version of events, Newsday was told, was given by the woman to Constables Dale Mackoonsingh and Sean Warrick, both of the Guard and Emergency Branch, who were the first officers to arrive at the scene.

Homicide Investigations Bureau officers and District Medical Officer Dr Robert Naidika visited the scene and the body was ordered removed to the Forensic Science Centre in St James where an autopsy will be done next Tuesday.

Up to press time yesterday, police investigators were not sure if the baby’s death was a case of murder, negligence or natural causes, for example, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Sources said they are hoping the autopsy will shed clear and conclusive light on cause of death which will determine the way investigations will go.

Both the baby’s mother and father were taken into custody and are said to be assisting investigators in the enquiry. Police sources said the other children are staying at the homes of other relatives.

When Newsday visited Sea Lots yesterday, the baby’s father’s house was locked tight and no one answered calls at the door. A female relative of the baby’s mother claimed that the child’s father was abusive to the mother, but never to any of his children. “It was not a good relationship. The father used to advantage her and call her names. She was frightened but he did not usually take the children,” the relative said.

The baby’s mother and father were together for eight years and the relationship ended two weeks ago when the mother went to police to report domestic abuse, the relative said. Following that, the mother moved out of the man’s house and moved back into her father’s home nearby.

“He used to beat her a lot. Whenever he drank, he would beat her. He was a disrespectful fella. He used to curse her as he ordered her to take care of his children,” the relative said.

The woman insisted that the first report of the children’s mother leaving the house to go into Port-of-Spain to gamble, was not true.

However, a resident who lives near to the detained woman’s home, claimed that the woman regularly left her children home alone and unattended. The resident claimed that at nights, some of the children could be heard crying. Investigations are continuing.

The death of the three-month-old baby girl came a few hours after Okilia Mayers bade a tearful farewell to her daughter Keanna and son Omari, following a funeral service in San Juan. Both Keanna, two, and 11-month-old Omari, were murdered by their father Barry Karamath on April 12. Karamath later committed suicide.

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