Comforting arms: Six-year-old Keyianna Noel, who was kidnapped on Tuesday, thanks WPC Camille Yearwood after she was reunited with her father, Jasson Noel, at Besson Street Police Station, Port of Spain, yesterday. —Photo: ANISTO ALVES
The murder of six-year-old Keyana Cumberbatch brought a lot of pain to her family and citizens over the last few weeks.
Keyana’s stepfather has since been charged with her murder.
On Tuesday, in a strange turn of events, another six-year-old child with a name pronounced the same but spelt differently—Keyianna—became the centre of a family drama, raising fears for her safety.
But at the end of the day yesterday, Keyianna was happily reunited with her family.
“I feel good to come back with everybody. Love you. I love everyone in the world. He lie and say he was going for snacks. And he carried me in two house,” a smiling Keyianna said to her father, Jasson “Rastaman” Noel, 32, and her siblings outside Besson Street Police Station in Port of Spain yesterday.
Keyianna was joined by her siblings, Jerrel, nine, Naomi, eight, and Malachai Belasco, five, outside the police station.
On Tuesday around 3.30 p.m., Keyianna was taken by a male relative from her apartment block home at Duncan Street, Port of Spain.
According to Noel, the gate to the apartment block was unlocked and the relative entered. He went upstairs to the apartment, where he met the children, who were alone. He asked for water and who wanted to go for snacks. Keyianna said yes, but her siblings refused. He then left with Keyianna.
Noel said: “I was across the road... And he called me. I told him I am doing something by the neighbour. The gate was unlocked. When she was going, her brother, Jerrel, and Naomi told her not to go. They were pulling her back...”
Noel said Keyianna was taken by the man to his sister’s house on Tuesday, and the little girl was dropped off on the bus route in Aranjuez yesterday.
Besson Street police went to the bus route and brought her back to the station.
Keyianna’s father said when the child was taken, she was allowed to speak to a relative who called the man, asking what he was doing with the little girl.
Noel said he also called the man and asked him what he was doing with the child without his (Noel’s) consent.
Noel then went to the Duncan Street apartment and questioned the other children, following which he went to the Besson Street Police Station and made a report.
Elated at having his child home yesterday, Noel said: “I feel a release. I have to give the police some props. Up to now I didn’t sleep or eat. Right now, my head light-headed. I was up with the police. I just thank everybody because I know some people does say the police not working or not doing enough. In a situation like this, you have to say thanks and give thanks to the Most High. I am happy. I want to carry them home now and make sure everybody happy. I hope they get the man because what he did there, I will not like anybody to go through that.”
Noel said Keyianna was taken away “because of revenge” and not for snacks. He said the police are treating the matter as a kidnapping. And with Christmas around the corner, Noel said: “We are going to finish paint and put up decorations. We are going to have dinner and settle back into normal life.”
In a telephone interview with the Express yesterday, Noel’s wife, Karen Ollivierre, confirmed her stepdaughter, Keyianna, was taken from her home at Duncan Street around 3 p.m. on Tuesday by the relative, who promised to buy her snacks. She, however, feels he wanted revenge because of a family situation.
Ollivierre said: “Normally, the gate does be locked downstairs. He went upstairs by our house. And he asked for some water. And he asked who wanted to go for snacks.
“The others said no, but Keyianna said she was going and the others kept pulling her back. Apparently he did not carry her for snacks. I feel he wanted revenge.”
Yesterday around 7.10 a.m. and later at 8 a.m., Ollivierre said she called the man and enquired why he had taken the child from her home.
She said: “I was quarrelling with him. I told him you had no right to take her in the first place. He told me to take my time.
“Then he said he was dropping her by his sister in San Juan because he did not want any ‘make-out scene’. And the sister will get her ready and bring her to the Besson Street Police Station.”
Police later picked her up by the bus route.
Yesterday when the Express visited the Duncan Street apartment compound, there was a sense of calm. Most of the doors were closed. A young man said most of the people were at work.
Noel’s neighbour, Avanella Diaz, a mother of three, said she takes care of the children when their father is out cleaning boats. She felt hurt Keyianna was taken away.
“I got an upset feeling. I felt it was like one of my children was taken away,” she said.