JAHAN’S DAD WANTS ANSWERS
John King says he is leaving the death of his six-year-old son, Jahan King, in the hands of the Lord and the law.
The 33-year-old father, who returned to Barbados last Thursday, one week after Jahan was buried at St Leonard’s Anglican Church, is also asking, like his foster mother Ena Browne, why nobody has yet been charged for the boy’s unnatural death.
“I honestly feel that more can be done with the investigation,” he said in an exclusive interview with Barbados TODAY.
“An innocent boy has died and . . . there is no one being dealt with in a sense that it is satisfying to the parent,” added King, who was unable to attend his son’s funeral because he was in a Canadian jail.
Jahan, who went to live with his mother Lasonta Gill and her boyfriend Dwayne Marshall after King left for Canada on October 17 last year, died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on June 29. The Child Care Board had conducted an investigation to determine if the deceased boy was a possible victim of child abuse but found no evidence to charge anyone.
However, a post mortem conducted on July 7 found Jahan died as a result of chest trauma. Acting Police Commissioner Tyrone Griffith subsequently said that the death was being investigated as a criminal matter.
In response to Browne’s criticism about the apparent slowness of the investigation, police explained they had to do a thorough probe in order to come up with the necessary evidence to support effective prosecution of the case.
King appeared composed during the interview. He said he had been bombarded with stories surrounding Jahan’s death since he came home and had also seen pictures circulating on social media of the child’s bruised body.
Though devastated and upset, King made it clear that he did not intend to take matters into his own hands, though he knew many were expecting him to.
“God is going to deal with everything for me,” he said.
“Whoever is responsible will pay. I [am] just letting karma and retribution take its course.”
King said he loved Jahan more than himself and they both shared an unbreakable bond from the boy’s birth. He regretted being in prison and unable, as a result, to take care of his son.
However, he said he would call whenever he could to check up on him.
King, who has sought counselling and prayer with a pastor since his return, said it was not easy coping with the grief. But, being a strong believer in the Almighty, he said he was drawing strength from holding on to faith, knowing that as time passed, he would begin to heal.
“I will spend time trying to really and out the truth about what really happened to my son,” he vowed.
“I telling myself if I was here, he would have been alive. He lived with me, even though me and he mother break up, I tell she go long but Jahan will stay here with me.”
King said he had tried to be the father to Jahan that he never had. “I made a vow to myself that because I know how it feels to be there without a father, if I get a child or children, even if can’t be there financially, I want to be there physically, be there as a mentor and a protector.”
King said although the prison’s management and other inmates tried to be there for him after he got the devastating news of Jahan’s death, Almighty God was his biggest comforter and support when he offered that midnight cry. He said he could not have done it without God.
King had an apparent premonition of Jahan’s death.
He explained: “There was a photo I had of him and it kept falling off the wall. And I was telling my cell mate, ‘you, something wrong boy’.”
He said about two years ago also, he had a dream in which he saw his son dead. “I see Jahan dead but how he died it was like I couldn’t do anything. I wasn’t there and I couldn’t do anything,”
King recalled the last hours he spent with Jahan before he left for Canada. He said he cut the boy’s hair, made his bed and told him he was going on an airplane and would see him when he returned.
As he was leaving, King said the boy asked to come with him but he promised another time. He said he then kissed the boy and told him goodbye, not knowing it would be the last time he would see Jahan alive.