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Autopsy: Baby choked on car seat straps

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Soca Warriors goalkeeper Marvin Phillip leaves the Forensic Science Complex, St James, yesterday following an autopsy on his son Maitai (inset). PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ

Ten-month old Maitai Phillip died from positional asphyxiation, his autopsy report revealed yesterday. The last-born son of national goalkeeper Marvin Phillip was pronounced dead at the Chaguanas Health Facility on Friday morning less than two hours after he was dropped off at the Anointed Angels daycare at Edinburgh 500, Chaguanas. The T&T Guardian was informed that police seized the car seat in which the child was placed  at the daycare the day he died.



His autopsy report stated the because of the slouched position the child was in he was able to reach the straps on the car seat with his mouth which blocked off his trachea causing him to asphyxiate. Relatives of the child visited the Forensic Science Centre, St James, on Friday but was told to return yesterday. When they did, the relatives were told they would have to wait until after 2 pm when all other autopsies for the day had been completed. 


The relatives, which included Phillip, who returned from Brazil on Saturday, and the child's mother Lesley-Ann Halls received the report just after 5 pm yesterday. The child’s grandfather, Lincoln Halls, told the media on Friday he dropped off Maitai around 6.15 am at the daycare. He said Maitai was not in the car seat because his wife was holding the child. Just after 7 am Maitai’s grandmother Gemma Ottley was called and told to go to the Chaguanas Health Facility as the child was unresponsive. 


Officials at the daycare told police that after receiving Maitai he was placed in the car seat.  Some time later he seemed to be asleep so the caregiver went to put him in the crib and noticed he was not breathing. The caregiver, who is trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), tried to revive Maitai but was unable to do so. Emergency Health Services (EHS) were called in and took Matai to the Chaguanas Health Facility, where he was pronounced dead some time after. 


Cpl Barrow of the Chaguanas CID is continuing investigations.