TEN-month-old Matai Phillip, the son of Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warrior Marvin Philip, died yesterday shortly after being dropped off at a day-care centre in Chaguanas.
Phillip, who was in Argentina with the national team when he was told, was said to be distraught.
Several months ago, the mother of his first child died.
Baby Matai’s mother, Leslie-Ann Halls, is a part-time Special Reserve Police Officer and employee of TSTT.
Police were told that around 6.15 a.m. yesterday, the child was dropped off at the Anointed Angels Day Care at Cicada Street, Edinburgh 500, Chaguanas.
The child, who was ten months old on Monday, was taken to the day-care by his grandfather, Lincoln Halls, police said. About an hour later, the centre called the family to say the infant had been taken to the Chaguanas medical facility.
When the family got there, the child was already dead. A day-care worker told the family the boy had been crying incessantly when placed in a crib and was taken out and strapped into a car seat.
He was found motionless minutes later.
A statement from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation had earlier stated the child was taken to the day-care centre by his mother.
Public Information Officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, Sgt Wayne Mystar, said yesterday he was told the baby began crying around 7 a.m. and was placed in a car seat available at the nursery.
He said: “They put the safety harness on the baby. About ten minutes past seven when they went to check on the baby, the baby was unresponsive. The baby was rushed to the Chaguanas medical facility. It is suspected that the child probably suffocated or at least he strangled himself by tangling up with the seat belt. We are awaiting the autopsy result.”
Mystar later said the police had been asked by a pathologist at the Forensic Science Centre in St James to submit the child’s car seat and the last bottle of formula. In addition, the police were asked to get the child’s medical history since the infant was said to have wheezing problems.
Officials at the day-care centre declined to speak with the Express yesterday.
TSTT’s manager of media relations and corporation communications, Graeme Suite, said Halls is an employee at the company’s Internet support department.
He added: “The news of the passing of her son has come as a shock to us and we extend our heartfelt condolences to her and her family.
“TSTT has programmes for supporting employees and their families facing such difficult circumstances and this support will be made available to her and her family. This is a tragedy. Her colleagues in the office where she is based were particularly saddened by the news and we hold her and her family in our thoughts and prayers in their time of grief.”