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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 pro-
nounced dead on arrival at the facility.
Up until yesterday, the child s parent s were assist-
ing 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
WPC Hamid of the Mayaro Police Station is con-
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Girl, 5, drowns in pool after swim class
for 02nd JUNE, 2014
JENSEN LA VENDE
Two children are now dead after they
both drowned in separate instances
between yesterday and Sunday.
One of the two children, Jemimah Agard,
five, drowned moments after a swimming
lesson at the Young Men s Christian Asso-
ciation (YMCA) pool at Wrightson Road,
Her mother, Jemilia Forde, and family are
now seeking answers form those responsible
for supervising the child during the activ-
ity.According to police reports, Agard, of
Rose Hill, Laventille, a pupil of Sharon s
Nursery School, Woodbrook, was part of a
class which went to the YMCA for swim-
ming lessons between 9 am and 10 am.
After the class ended and the children
went to change, little Jemimah reportedly
asked to use the toilet and was allowed to
do so. After some time the teachers noticed
the child missing and began searching for
She was found at the bottom of the pool
in the deep end and was fished out and
given cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
before being rushed to the Port-of-Spain
General Hospital where she died.
In a brief interview with CNC3 yesterday,
a relative of the child, Psyche Baptiste, said
doctors tried to everything they could for
over 20 minutes to revive her but were
She said a teacher told her the children
were out of the pool and Jemimah went to
use the washroom. She said no one was
sure if the child entered the pool before she
went to the bathroom as she had defecated
in the pool.
Baptiste added: "Nobody thought to look
in the pool and when they did look in the
pool they found her at the bottom of the
"She turned five on May 2. That could
have been anyone s child, even mine. She
was her mother s only daughter, right now
her mother thinks she has nothing to live
She said the family had been offered
counselling but she said they hoped there
were closed circuit cameras to capture what
happened so the family could at least have
She described the child in one word, "lov-
ing", adding that the family s life would no
longer be the same.
"We want answers. What happened? Why
was she left alone to go to the washroom
unsupervised? No answer could suffice, at
least we should get closure," she said.
In the second death, 23-month-old Kris-
ton Obadele Gonzales died after he wandered
into a man-made pond in the family s yard
Speaking at the Forensic Science Centre,
St James, yesterday, relatives of the child,
who wished not to be identified, told the
media the boy ran out the house when a
door was left open and went into the pond.
The relatives said around 1.45 pm no one
had noticed the child had wandered outside.
They added that none of the children at
the Alexis Street, Mayaro, home was allowed
in the pond.
"He was a very nice child, the most loving
thing you would ever meet, very intelligent.
His parents couldn t come today. They
couldn t handle it. He was the first and only
boy with five sisters," the relatives added.
Jemilia Forde, mother of five-year-old Jemimah Agard (inset), is comforted by Alisha
Richardson, left and Porsha Lewis, right, at her home after learning of the child's death
yesterday. Agard, a pupil of Sharon's Nursery School, Woodbrook, drowned in the YMCA
pool in Port-of-Spain after a swimming class. PHOTO:ABRAHAM DIAZ
Frantic dash fails
to save toddler
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