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Cops hold relative for questioning as Sea Lots mourns for baby Akela

Saturday, April 19, 2014
Akela Gibbs

Instead of preparing for a christening weeks away, a Sea Lots, Port-of-Spain, mother of four will now be preparing to bury her three-month-old baby girl. However, mystery surrounds the death of baby Akela Gibbs, better known as “Curly Bear” by her family, who was found dead in the bed of a relative at Pioneer Drive yesterday. Up to late yesterday, a 34-year-old man remained in the custody of Homicide Bureau officers assisting in their investigation.



According to reports, around 4.10 am yesterday, PCs Mackoonsingh, Warwick and officers of the Guard and Emergency Branch responded to a call that a mother had found her child lifeless in a bed at a relative’s home. When the officers arrived they found the child frothing from the mouth and immediately notified EHS, who also responded.


Police said the mother, Nicole Manswell, told them she went to a party with a relative. When she returned home she said the relative had propositioned her for sex and she replied negatively. Manswell told police the relative then took their two children and went to his house. It is alleged that when she went for the children an hour later she noticed the relative’s hand over the baby’s mouth, police said.



Poor parental skills
In an interview at another relative’s house yesterday in Sea Lots, family members criticised the relative’s parental qualities. “The baby was good last night. She was playing and laughing,” she said. “The mother went and play wapee when he take the children because she need money to mind the child. “I told her go and check on the child and later somebody come and tell me the child dead. When I went the child had froth coming from her nose and mouth.”  


The relative admitted, however, that it was possible the relative fell asleep because he was inebriated and his arm may have covered the child “and he did not know what he was doing.” She said Akela was going to be christened on May 4.



Conflicting stories
Investigators said yesterday it was possible the suspect could have rolled on the baby while she was asleep. However, investigators said there were “contrary” statements made concerning the child’s death. A post-mortem will be conducted on baby Akela at the Forensic Science Centre, Federation Park, St James, on Monday. This latest incident comes five days after Barry Karamath, 34, poisoned his two-year old daughter Ke’anna Mayers and 10-month old son Omari Mayers and killed himself at Mora Trace. 




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