DAUGHTER’S BAG: Kevon Cumberbatch, father of murdered Keyana, displays her schoolbag outside his apartment yesterday. —Photo: CURTIS CHASE

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A warning to parents

Keyana’s dad: Watch your children

By By Rickie Ramdass rickie.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

The father of Keyana Cumberbatch has called on the nation to use his daughter’s killing as a reason to put proper legislation in place to save the country’s children.
Speaking at length for the first time since his six-year-old daughter was found murdered on Thursday evening, a grieving Kevon Cumberbatch had a message from his Oropune Gardens, Piarco, home yesterday afternoon.
He said the scourge of violence against children must come to an immediate stop.
“People, please save the children. I want the nation to take Keyana as an example and a serious example, too. Allyuh watch over your children, please. Know who you bring into your life, especially you mothers. Fathers, take your daughters. If you find things not going well with the mother, take your children because you see this loss, I won’t wish it on my own enemy.
“They need to get more serious with those children because we losing them. Is every week we losing a child under these circumstances. What going on? People just making children and they don’t care. If my daughter could be some type of influence to the nation for this thing to stop here right this minute I will be very thankful. I don’t want a next child to go through this. I don’t want anybody else go through that,” he said.
Cumberbatch, 35, said he had previously asked the child’s mother, Simone Williams, 27, to let him take Keyana.
“I beg this girl for my child all how, she said ‘no’, but look what happened now. Who’s paying for this?” he asked.
Cumberbatch said of Williams:
“Simone Williams is a good woman, you know, but she made some bad choices and the wrong choices she made caused me and she to end up in this thing right now. I know she hurting too but she have to hurt,” he said. Keyana was found dead three days after she went missing from her home on Monday evening.
Her semi-decomposing body was found in a barrel under clothing in one of the bedrooms of her own apartment. An autopsy conducted by forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov on Friday concluded that she died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head, and was raped either when she was unconscious or already dead.
A male suspect is currently in police custody. He was arrested on Tuesday but was later hospitalised after suffering an asthma attack, said police. He was released from hospital on Thursday and is being held at the Arouca Police Station.
Investigators said they expect to approach Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard SC sometime this week to determine if there is sufficient evidence to charge him with the girl’s rape and murder. Cumberbatch, who also has a two-year-old daughter, Tianna, told the Sunday Express he once shared a friendship with the suspect.
“We were good, good friend before, you know. We had a little falling out, we were on a little term where we not talking, but I put aside my differences. Me and the man was good. We would lime together, sit down, take a little drink, exchange ideas and all the time I don’t know what he thinking,” Cumberbatch said.
He said after Keyana went missing, he approached the man and questioned him with regard to her location.
“He said he dropped off Keyana at her grandmother’s apartment. That man was in the rain with me looking for Keyana on Monday night. He went to the police station in the rain to make missing person report,” he said.
Keyana’s funeral service will take place on Tuesday.
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