Three days after a pregnant mother and her five children were rescued from rising flood waters and taken to a shelter, they were told to return to their water-logged one-room shack yesterday.
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Farewell to an angel today
The grandfather of baby Jaedon Cudjoe will be charged with manslaughter. Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (South) Joan Honore-Paul gave instructions to investigators to charge 56-year-old Jerricho Cudjoe with the indictable offence yesterday. The man, who is said to be depressed and inconsolable over the child’s death, was expected to be charged last evening. Contacted yesterday, Cudjoe’s son, baby Jaedon’s father Fergus, said he was not aware that charges had been laid. He said, however, that he would go to the Penal Police Station to speak with his father.
The grandfather is accused of causing the unlawful death of the 17-month-old child on Tuesday. Jaedon was found dead in the back seat of his grandfather’s Nissan Cefiro, which was parked in the carpark at the Penal installation of Petrotrin, where he works. The grandfather, who lives at Aquat Village, Quinam, Siparia, was supposed to drop the child off at his babysitter’s home in Siparia on Tuesday morning. Instead, he drove straight to his workplace at Petrotrin’s Penal compound and left the child in the closed car. He discovered the child dead when he returned to the car after finishing work, at 4.30 pm.
An autopsy by forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov on Wednesday showed Jaedon died from hyperthermia, caused by the intense heat he experienced in the car, where he had survived for two hours. Although the charge is a bailable offence, investigators said the grandfather will have to apply for bail before the court. He will thus remain in police custody until Monday, when he will be taken before the Siparia Magistrates Court to answer the charge. WPC Callendar of Southern Division Homicide is expected to charge the grandfather.
Family wants grandpa at funeral
Today, Jaedon will be laid to rest after a funeral at the St Dominic’s RC Church in Penal, a stone’s throw from where he was found dead. Yesterday, Fergus, in an interview with the T&T Guardian at the family’s Siparia home, said he did not want his father to be charged because he was suffering enough. Fergus said he wanted his father to be home with the family, or at least be granted bail so he could attend the funeral. Investigators said arrangements were being made to have the grandfather present at the funeral. Fergus said relatives have been visiting his father at the Penal station and he had been receiving counselling.
He said his father told him he keeps feeling he is in a dream and he will wake up and baby Jaedon will be alive. Fergus said the babysitter, who is his aunt, is also grieving and blaming herself for not calling to see if something was wrong when he was not brought to her home. But he said she knew that if Jaedon was not dropped off it was because Fergus or his fiancee, Jaedon’s mother Masika Wharwood, was at home and had kept him. “That was the arrangement,” Cudjoe said. Fergus admitted that he had a fear of sending his son to daycare after the son of one of his friends died at a daycare, and decided to let his aunt watch the baby. Wharwood said her son was an angel and had come as a surprise to them. She said he was full of life and “even though he had a little time here, he made a big impact on everyone’s life. Everyone loved him. His grandfather loved him, he was his world.”