Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Frantic dash fails to save toddler
Police are investigating the death of a 23-month-old baby who was found floating in a pond at his family’s Mayaro home on Sunday. Despite being grabbed up by a family friend, who ran with him several hundred metres from their Alexis Street home to the Mayaro District Health Facility, little Kriston Obadelle Gonzales was pronounced dead on arrival at the facility. Up until yesterday, the child’s parent’s were assisting Mayaro police with their investigation into how Kriston ended up in the pond.
Police said the child’s father was asleep and his mother was around the house when he wandered into the yard. Shortly after 1 pm, the family’s neighbour Dexter Calliste saw Kriston facedown in the pond and alerted relatives. He was quickly taken out but despite attempts to resuscitate him he was unresponsive. During the confusion, Anthony Belton picked up the child and ran through the Edric Connor Park to the health facility in the hope of saving him but his dash was in vain as medical personnel also could not revive the child.
Police said he had been underwater for too long. There were no marks of violence on his body. The child’s father is a Baptist minister who does baptisms in two man-made ponds in the yard. Police said both are four-feet deep. After visiting the family on Sunday, Mayaro/Guayaguayare councillor Kyron James, while saying he was not casting aspersions on how Kriston died, called on parents to be more vigilant while watching over their children. Although many people might cast judgment on the family, he said there was a need to support them during their time of grief.
As in the case of 17-month-old Jaedon Cudjoe, who died after his grandfather allegedly forgot him in a car, James said there were unguarded moments.
“At the end of the day, this is a loss, not only for the family but the community of Mayaro. We should all come together to give the family the support that they would desperately need in their time of grief. “Accidents happen and to lose a child in that manner it is enough to endure. “I am not saying that they were negligent or they weren’t. I think that we as parents, we need to be very vigilant when it comes to keeping an eye on our children,” James said. WPC Hamid of the Mayaro Police Station is continuing investigations.