Tuesday, February 20, 2018

...Concerns over grandfather’s mental state


FAMILY MAN: Jerricho Cudjoe with his grandson Jaedon at his first birthday celebration.

Mark Fraser

The grandfather of infant Jaedon Cudjoe, who was found dead in the back seat of his car on Tuesday, has been detained at the Penal Police Station since the night of the tragedy.

Jerricho Cudjoe, 56, was being interviewed by officers up to last evening. 

Police said a file was compiled and would be sent to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to determine whether any criminal charges would be laid against him.

Several people visited the grieving grandfather at the police station, including Jaedon’s mother Masika, who said police brought him to meet with her.

The meeting was reportedly brief since Cudjoe, overcome by grief, trembled and could barely speak.

A Petrotrin doctor, company welfare officer, and members of the Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU), also met with Cudjoe.

The OWTU members have expressed concern for the mental health of Cudjoe, who, witnesses said “almost lost his mind” when he found the child dead around 4.30.pm. on Tuesday.

OWTU’s chief research officer Ozzie Warwick said members of the union’s Penal/Barrackpore branch visited Cudjoe at the police station on Wednesday.

Warwick said, “I can confirm that a union officer visited him in a show of solidarity. The members are concerned because he is not in good spirits.”

Cudjoe, of Aquat Village, Quinam Road, Penal, has been employed as an electrician at Petrotrin’s Clarke Road Facility, Penal, for the past 35 years and is expected to retire in three years time.

The Express was told that Cudjoe, an electrical foreman, received information that he was promoted to supervisor the day before the incident.

Cudjoe was supposed to drop off his grandson at the babysitter’s before going to work on Tuesday but he received a call on his cellphone that he was urgently needed at his workplace and forgot the child in the back seat.

Police said Cudjoe parked his black Nissan Teana car in the facility’s car park around 7.30 a.m. He went about his duties and returned around 4 p.m.

Police said Cudjoe screamed when he opened the car door and saw his grandson’s body. He begged the child to wake up and ripped up his promotion letter, shouting that he didn’t want it anymore.

An autopsy performed at the Forensic Science Centre in St James stated that little Jaedon died from hyperthermia due to extreme heat. 

State-owned Petrotrin has offered counselling services to Cudjoe’s family and co-workers through its Petrotrin Employee Assistance Programme Services Ltd (PEAPSL).