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Aug 7, 2018

Seven-year-old Antwone Marin Becomes the Youngest Victim of Suicide in Belize

Antwone Marin

The loss of life of a child is painful, but when the young child dies by suicide; it is beyond comprehension. In the southern village of Seine Bight, a myriad of questions are left hanging as news spread that a seven-year-old primary school student took his life. What had bedevilled Antwone Marin to cut his life short is unclear, though it is known he was grieving the death of his cousin, his same age. The little boy was reportedly found on Monday evening by his babysitter inside their small wooden house in an isolated area.  He was suspended on a clothesline running through the room. She cradled him and rushed to get help. A first responder, who attempted to assist, says he was stunned at the marks on his neck, and along with another person, they attempted to resuscitate him. They then rushed the unresponsive child to the hospital. Now, suicides are not reported as a general rule, but tonight we carry this very unusual case because experts say that it is healthy to openly talk about the signs associated with suicides. News Five’s Isani Cayetano was in Seine Bight and files the following report. 

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

When and at what age does the thought of killing one’s self begin to take root in the human mind?  Perhaps it’s a question best suited for a psychologist, but it remains the most pertinent inquiry, aside from what led to the death of seven-year-old Antwone Marin.  The minor was reportedly found hanging from a clothesline, a cord of some sort fastened around his neck, inside this elevated, wooden structure near the lagoon in Seine Bight Village.

 

On the phone: Anwar Marin, Father of Deceased

On the phone: Anwar Marin

“Well yesterday da my gial mi gaan da work, right.  Then I cohn buy wah lee gas outta road, but then my kids mi deh with di babysitta weh normally tek care ah dehn when I go, cause I usually go hustle and do my lee hustling and thing and then I noh leff dehn deh by dehnself.  I usually got somebody, so while she deh ya I leff dehn wid she.  And if she noh deh ya, I ker dehn by my in-laws them.  She gather three ah dehn and she gaan da my house, yoh know, because that da usual thing and she, dehn done eat already.  When she gaan deh she staat plait, I think da di youngest gial, Kiara Marin, da di youngest one.  She staat plait her first then afta dat, so she di plait she, my next daughter Uwani Marin she deh right deh so di sihdown and wait, but between dehn time deh now, and dis da eena my house, now between dehn time deh now, Eggy just past, cause dehn call ah Eggy, right, cause da soh everybody call me, so everybody call di man Eggy.  Next minute now he pass and gaan eena my room.  Now next minute, ih noh even tek long when she tell Kiara, “I noh di hyah no sound from Eggy, go check pan Eggy.”  Now when my daughter gaan deh da because my son done deh pan di, yo si from ny di bed head, approximately, mussi seh like offa di mattress, di line deh bout approximately four feet offa di mattress.  Dat da weh my gial heng fi her clothes.”

 

According to Martin Zetina, the child’s babysitter rushed over frantically to where he and his workmen were busy constructing a dock on the waterfront.

 

Voice of: Martin Zetina, First Responder

“A young lady asking for help, so I went to assist but I saw her on the ground giving respiration to a young seven-year-old, like you all say, and I asked her what happened to him.  She said, “I don’t know, I don’t know” And I took the kid and I put him on my chest, so I tried to give him some CPR, right.  CPR, about four times.  From there I see the little seven-year-old didn’t do no reaction, so I laid him down.”

 

Despite all attempts to administer chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth, Antwone was unresponsive.  One can only imagine the anguish that must have been felt upon discovering Eggy, as he was affectionately known, suspended from a rope inside the bedroom.  Zetina, at the point where he noticed that the little boy was motionless, summoned his colleagues to assist the babysitter.

 

Voice of: Martin Zetina

“The guys, when they went out there the lady was already gone to the front with the kid.  That’s all.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Did you notice or observe any signs on Antwone’s body, perhaps around the neck or any sign that would have suggested he may have taken his own life?”

 

Voice of: Martin Zetina

“Well I saw a little mark around the back of the neck, a little like squeeze, right.  That’s all I saw.”

 

The neighborhood where he and his family lived is a remote part of the coastal village, in an area adjacent to the Placencia Lagoon.  Another person, who has asked to remain unnamed, describes the scene of the incident after Antwone had been brought out to the roadside.

 

Voice of: Second Responder

“We were all working.  One of the workmen needed to go home.  I see he ran and we went out there behind him and there is this lady with this little boy and he was like already dead.  So we tried to rush her out to the front of the office at our work and some of the guys tried giving him CPR, but he was already gone.  He had like food and stuff coming out of his nose because he was, I guess, gone already.”

 

So what could have prompted the young, primary school student on summer break from St. Alphonsus RC, to take his own life?  The answer possibly lies in a number of emotional and psychological factors that may have come to play at the point where Antwone decided to turn on himself.

 

On the phone: Anwar Marin

“I just bury my gial niece.  Watch ya, she born di same month eena May and she dead eena August and she was seven and she mi gwein da standard one and da di exact thing weh ketch my son and she dead, dehn just knock she down front ah fu she grandmother.  Dehn just knock she down.”

 

Deshane Gutierrez

Deshane Gutierrez, Clinical Psychologist

“Unfortunately, children do experience depression, just as adults.  They experience some kind of trauma, post traumatic stress disorder.  So they do experience thoughts of suicide and CDC has stated that two in million children between the ages of five to eleven commit suicide.  This is a first case scenario in Belize where we’ve found a child so young committing suicide and I think that is what makes it more tragic because it’s not something that we’re accustomed to.  And we often ask ourselves, “Are children depressed?  Can they really be depressed.  They don’t pay bills.”  But children can be depressed just as adults.  Their perception.  For us, it’s hard for us as adults to understand some of the emotions that we feel and for children it’s even harder for them to understand what’s happening.  So even though they may not be able to label what they are feeling, they do have some of the same experiences that we have as adults.”

 

While on vacation from school, Antwone was often seen at the water’s edge fishing in the nearby lagoon.

Voice of: Second Responder

“We work back here every day and no one really comes this side because it’s nothing back here.  The little boy, everyday he comes on these logs and he fishes or he comes and gets water from us, you know, because they don’t have it like everyone else so they come and get water from us.  They come and fishing here and the little boy, he’s well known in the village.”

 

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

 

A post-mortem states that the cause of death was asphyxia due to broncho-pulmonary aspiration of stomach contents due to near hanging.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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