Funeral today for baby in car seat tragedy

By Carolyn Kissoon

Baby Matai Phillip, the ten-month-old son of national footballer Marvin Phillip, will be laid to rest this afternoon.
Little Matai’s parents have planned a memorable send-off for him at the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Gasparillo from 2.30 p.m.
His body would then be buried at the churchyard cemetery.
The toddler was found unresponsive in a car seat at the Anointed Angels Day Care in Chaguanas, an hour after he was dropped off by his grandfather last Friday. He was later pronounced dead on arrival at the Chaguanas Health Facility.
An autopsy was performed at the Forensic Science Centre in St James by two pathologists, Dr Valery Alexandrov and Dr Eastlyn McDonald-Burris, on Monday.
The baby’s cause of death was listed as positional asphyxia.
Alexandrov said Matai’s chest was compressed by the straps of the car seat, limiting his ability to breathe. He described the child’s death as a “tragic accident”.
Baby Matai lived with his mother, Leslie-Ann Halls, in Springlands, Gasparillo. Halls is a Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) employee and part-time Special Reserve Police officer.
His father was in Sao Paulo, Brazil, when he heard the tragic news. He travelled with the team to Argentina, but as a reserve goal keeper, did not play. Phillip returned home on Saturday.
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