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Relatives claim it’s impossible Jabari was abused

By Gyasi Gonzales gyasi.gonzales@trinidadexpress.com

The family of three-year-old Jabari Hernandez yesterday denied he was ever abused.

However, the police are continuing their investigation based on the autopsy results, which concluded the child died as a result of blunt force trauma.

But a close male relative twice insisted: “This is not ‘child victim number three’ and I am the kind of man if I know you are an abuser I am coming for you.”

He was speaking at Marie-Emmanuel Road in Cumuto yesterday.

The middle-aged man is the step-father of the husband of the 24-year-old woman who is Jabari Hernandez’s mother.

The family owns and operates a small nursery and day-care centre in the area.

The day-care centre is located at the front of a still-under-construction family house, which is bordered by two houses. The area is sparsely populated with significantly large gaps between houses.

The day-care appeared clean and well-utilised by parents in the area, some of whom expressed surprise at reports that the toddler was abused and that led to his death.

The middle-aged interviewee said: “The child was playing and he had a fall and they took the child to the hospital (Sangre Grande) and, however, they transferred the child to another hospital (Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, where he stayed between November 18-26), “when the child came back, but when he was discharged he had an on-and-off fever”.

He said the back of the boy’s head was swollen and he complained about his stomach.

He said the boy’s initial fall occurred at the back of their home “off a little incline”.

He said on Saturday afternoon (November 30) they again took the boy to Sangre Grande District Hospital, at 4.45, when he began vomiting, following which his body went limp.

“The doctors were quite co-operative and they spent a while trying to revive the boy and he didn’t respond ... but with the stories I read on the papers it was totally false,” he said.

“I could carry you through the village and let you interview everybody because my wife seeing about children 35 years now and we are accustomed to kids in our home, so for a child to be brutalised here is madness, so this is not child victim number three.

“Let me say this again—this is not child victim number three,” he said, sounding exasperated.

He explained that from his experience it may have been the medication given to the boy during his first hospital stay, because “not every time they treat a body with medication it will agree with the child’s body, given his age. The boy may have been allergic to it”.

Detectives at the Homicide Bureau who investigated the death of both six-year-old Keyana Cumberbatch and one-year-old Jacob Monroe said yesterday none of Hernandez’s relatives have been charged.

The sergeant did not want to be named but said investigations are continuing along the findings of the post-mortem report into Hernandez’s death.


 

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