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Dec 7, 2016

Toddler Dies in St. Matthew’s: Accident or Murder?

Janeeka Campbell

We begin tonight’s newscast with shocking news of the death of a baby girl under most mysterious circumstances, where authorities are not sure if it was an accident or a case of murder. A month shy of her second birthday, twenty-three-month-old Janeeka Campbell suffered a most brutal and senseless death. Her mother is speaking to Belmopan Police while her father who is yet to be located, appears to be the prime suspect in a most horrific incident. The toddler from St. Matthews’s village in the Cayo District was being rushed to hospital on Monday night with bruises across her upper body and appeared unresponsive. She would later be pronounced dead on arrival at the Western Regional Hospital in the capital. Police say the catalogue of information available at this time points to previous questionable injuries and a post-mortem examination may be the difference between tragedy and murder. Officer Commanding Belmopan Police, Senior Superintendent Howell Gillett, detailed what police know so far this afternoon.

 

Howell Gillett

Sr. Supt. Howell Gillett, Officer Commanding, Belmopan Police

“Last night, which was Tuesday night sometime around eight p.m., our officers were patrolling in the St. Matthew’s area, or the village of St. Matthew’s, and they encountered two people who were in distress; they asked for the police’s support to take a young child, a female child, to the Western Regional Hospital. We did just that, and while we were doing so, an ambulance, who might have been called to the scene also – we stopped the ambulance, and we placed the child in the ambulance, in the emergency personnel’s care. The child was later pronounced dead on arrival at the Western Regional Hospital; in my view, the child may have been alive, or else the ambulance would not have taken in the child. Our observation revealed that the child had bruises to the entire upper portion of the body, meaning the back and to the front portion of the torso. There is nothing conclusive yet; we are investigating it with intensity and great scrutiny. There’s information that suggests that the child, based on the marks that we have seen – some of them have been previous marks on the body and some fresh marks. A post-mortem will tell us what really caused the child’s death. We’re not casting any aspersions at this time, but we are vigorously pursuing this case; because it’s a very sad case to have a young child died like this, and if the post-mortem proves the child died from injuries sustained, then we will treat it as a murder.”

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