TRINIDAD – What dead baby?
Family denies discovery of infant’s body
PORT OF SPAIN –– Even though a La Brea woman insists that a dead baby was not found at her home last week, police have confirmed that the skeletal remains of an infant were found wrapped in a blanket in a bedroom at the house.
The remains were bagged and taken to the to Forensic Science Centre in St James, police said. A forensic examination was conducted by pathologist Dr Eslyn Mc Donald-Burris who was unable to conclude the cause of death.
However, samples were taken and will be sent abroad for further testing. A senior investigator said the 40-year-old woman and her three teenaged children were taken into custody and interviewed.
“The woman and her daughter were allowed to leave and the two younger children were released into the custody of their father. That does not mean that the investigations are over. The officers encountered some legal issues and are waiting on instructions from the DPP. Criminal charges can be laid against them. But I can confirm that human remains were found at the house, How the baby died cannot be confirmed at this time,” he said.
So what would become of the human remains shelved at the Forensic Science Centre?
The 40-year-old woman said she knew nothing about a dead baby and would not be claiming the corpse. “I am telling you no remains were found at this house. The police is formulating this propaganda. The baby is alive and I will present it soon,” she said. Investigators said the woman has also denied that the baby girl was delivered by her 18-year-old daughter.
An initial report stated that the 40-year-old woman was the mother of the baby. But enquiries later revealed that the teenager gave birth to the child.
A neighbour who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the woman’s lies began last year when she told villagers she was pregnant with her fourth child.
The neighbour said: “I remember when the daughter got pregnant, no one in the village knew. But this woman started telling people she was pregnant. We knew it was a lie because her belly never grew. But the daughter started getting bigger and when we asked about it the mother would say the teenager had a medical problem. So it was like the mother started developing this story from then.”
The neighbour said after the child was delivered at home the 40-year-old woman continued the lie.
“The daughter’s belly was now gone and the baby was there. She continued to say the baby was hers. I even carried things for the baby. It was a really pretty baby girl. I held the baby. A month later when I went back the held the baby again, she was so thin. I asked if they were starving her,” she recalled.
The neighbour the baby suddenly disappeared and villagers began asking questions. “They would say the baby sleeping in a room and no one allowed to go in there. Even the younger children would say that. This really touched my heart because this is an innocent child,” she said.
Southwestern police received a telephone call on Thursday from a concerned villager about a stench at the house. The caller also told officers that there were children living in the house who never attended school.
At around 1 p.m. last week Thursday officers went to the house and met the 40-year-old woman. The Express was told that officers asked the woman about the baby.
“She calmly turned around and motioned to the officers to follow her. They went into a bedroom in the house. The remains were found on a bed,” police said. The woman identified the child as Mercy. But when the Express visited the mother of three after she was released from police custody on Tuesday, she denied a dead baby was in her house.
“I can tell you that there was no dead baby in this house. Mercy is alive and I would show people the baby soon,” she said. Police said the family were contacted by the TTPS Victim Support Unit.