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Apr 29, 2013

Young mother kills 3 children, 6 year old escapes death

Tonight we start our newscast with a heart-wrenching story of the death of three young siblings. From our records, it is first case of infanticide and filicide in Belize. A mother took her children to Belizean Beach and walked them into the water, drowning three of them. The closest we have found to such horrific tragedy is back in 2001 when a Teakettle woman fed her children with a poisonous liquid and then took some herself, but she and her children survived the incident. But on Saturday, the mother of four rode a bus to Mile Eight and walked her young children; ages one year to four years, into the sea. Of the four, the eldest child, a six year old, is the only witness, but she was able to run for help saving her own life. The mother had her first child at fifteen and is said to have been a victim of domestic abuse. This afternoon she was charged with three counts of murder. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The rolling waves near the water’s edge here at Belizean Beach is tranquil.  This location has long been the venue of choice for families wanting to enjoy a day in the sun or an occasional dip in the Caribbean Sea.  On Saturday morning, a family of five, including twenty-two-year-old Felicia Chen, visited the shore where, instead of taking the kids for a swim, the outing quickly turned tragic.

 

Voice of: First Responder

“I was by my kitchen window, I heard the dog bark so when I look I sih di baby on the roadside and I called the dog but I noticed nobody was with the baby so I run downstairs by the gate to see and I didn’t see anybody.  My niece from across the street, she came out the same time cause she sih di lee gial di walk and she asked me weh do di baby and I tell I noh know.  So I called fi di baby, I holla fi ahn and I ask ahn weh happen.  Ih stop and so I run gaan find out.”

 

What the neighbor, who asked to remain unidentified, would later discover is that the six year old had just witnessed the murder of her siblings at the hands of their mother.  Chen, an unemployed of the Mile eight community on the George Price Highway, had drowned three of her four children, including one-year-old Trinaya Felicia Teul, by forcibly submerging them in shallow water.  The eldest child, who saw the macabre scene unfold before her, was desperately trying to escape the sight of her mother attempting suicide.

 

Trinaya Felicia Teul

Voice of: First Responder

“Ih started to cry and I ask ahn weh ih gwein.  Ih tell mi ih gwein da Ladyville.  I tell ahn no Ladyville noh deh pan this way, cohn mek I ker yo by di police.  Ih seh, “no, no I have to go because my mommy di try kill ihself back deh.”  So ah seh weh yo seh, ih seh I haftu go because my mommy di kill ihself back deh.”  So, well I mi figure da mi di beach because di baby mi wet up and muddy from di seawater, right.”

 

The child was immediately escorted to the adjacent police checkpoint, where an officer and a pair of soldiers were on duty.

 

Voice of: First Responder

“I ker ahn da di police and di police tell di BDF dehn fi go check it out for ahn.  When I put di baby pan di step I notice I have wahn baba so I ask ahn who fa di baba.  Ih seh di baba da fi di baby, ih sehe, but di baby done dead because mommy done kill di baby.”

 

Triana Teul

The violent termination of four-year-old Triana Teul, her three year old brother Thomas and baby Trinaya is the first case of infanticide to be reported in Belize.  What ultimately caused the young mother to turn on her children, before attempting to take her own life, is one for investigators, as well as a psychiatrist to determine.

 

Voice of: First Responder

“When we get out da di beach dehn mi di bring een di mother and I notice di policeman dehn run and when dehn run da way deh when I look I sih two a dehn come with the babies, one each, done dead.  Then di next young man weh mi di help di BDF bring een di ma, he bring third baby weh da mi di baby itself, dehn mi done dead.  Di lee baby face mi done, ih mi blue.  Di policeman mi staat, you know, pump ahn but ih mi too late, she mi done kill dehn already.  Dehn mi done drowned.”

 

Thomas Teul

The ordeal, in its entirety, is extremely disturbing.  The remaining sibling, undoubtedly, should be committed to therapy, having been exposed to the unthinkable.  It’s a sight that is also impressed in the woman’s psyche.

 

Voice of: First Responder

“Ih traumatic fi me and, you know, fi sih three babies come outta di wata dead like dat.  I noh know, I still eena wah state ah shock myself right now although da noh nothing to me.  I noh know dehn and I neva sih dehn before and dat da bout it ‘til when dehn cover them and…”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What state would you describe the mother in at the point where she was detained by the police officers?”

 

Voice of: First Responder

“Hysterical, how you woulda seh, like she just mi di cry and bawl and bawl and bawl.  Ih noh mi di seh nothing more than just di cry out and cry out and bawl and I had di lee baby with me at that time, you know, I mi still di hold on to di baby and she started to cry.  She started to cry, you know.  Di policeman tell mi seh ih best yo ker ahn, ker ahn from round it because she mi di cry fi ih mommy.”

 

The bodies of the three children were later identified by their grandmother Prostacia Chen.  Felicia Chen remains in police custody after being arraigned this afternoon on three counts of murder.  Chen will also undergo a psychiatric evaluation on Tuesday, the result of which will determine whether she will be remanded prior to her court date or institutionalized. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

 

Later in the newscast we will repeat a story we did on Felicia Chen when she was hit by a vehicle in 2009; she was pregnant at the time.  

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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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31 Responses for “Young mother kills 3 children, 6 year old escapes death”

  1. Retired CEO says:

    While this is a very sad and tragic event the least to say despicable and should have never happened. This is clearly a sign of the time that we are living in. The jewel which appears to be a very violent and uncaring society coupled with hard economic times and unacceptable living conditions for many nameless/faceless individuals, coupled with many other significant variables that can be considered contributing factors to this horrible event. Nevertheless we don’t know the facts that led up to this horrific event.

    Clearly, to have a young woman of twenty-two years of age having four children at this very young and tender years does not even sound right. This should be taken into consideration, coupled with the possible hardships, mental agony and psychological stress this person may have endured. Nevertheless, this is unacceptable act of violence is clearly a sign of the times in Belize.

    The Belizean society at large, religious organizations and other civil organizations should pay close attention to this tragedy and take heed as to where our beloved country is heading. Finally, while we cannot say what happened and what caused this sort of thing to occur we should not be quick to make a judgment call on this individual, however it is very clear that life and the current living condition in the jewel is at an all time low.

  2. sickntired says:

    I cry wen i read this story. Why the system neva de round to help people like this? People need to pray and be kind to their neighbours but things so bad we only could think bout weself these days. There are plenty people like this around and they need we help. Today is a good day to reach out and help somebody.

  3. Stephen says:

    Verry sorry but this woman need to be in a hospital instead of jail as we know that she have a mental break down in order for her to kill her children. She did not know what she was doing as she is verry sick, we need to wake up and help each others, all of us know that these hard times will make one do a lot of thinking and instead of punish they choose to go home. We all need to find ways to help BELIZE as I notice only the rich are getting the help.

  4. not again says:

    They are so many cases like this in Belize. But never acomplish killing them. What can be so bad that a mother would do such thing? Where is the father? Like most of the cases no where around. If she was not crazy she is now. My heart hurts so much. Rest in peace little angels.

  5. roska says:

    A mother killing her own children?????

    Looks like ALL the atrocities we hear over television, that were once considered foreign are now coming home……

    Are we so easily media influenced or is it purely coincidental… or like the advocates always say..
    “TIMES ARE CHANGING AND WE HAVE TO CHANGE ALONG WITH IT….” where do we belizeans get so many psychotic ideas???

    Back in the 80′s it was the movie “colours” that sparked the gang evolution…..and the movie “scarface” inspired so many drug barons at “rambotown”…. now???

    Next weeks’ headlines “SHOOTING SPREE AT A BELIZEAN HIGH SCHOOL – 8 DEAD AND MANY WOUNDED!!!”

  6. Storm says:

    This crime truly is incomprehensible.

    But it is not our first case of infanticide, as reported. Have we already forgotten little Kaylee Burgess, who was strangled and left head-down in a bucket last year? Reporters should press the police and Minister of National Security on that case — have they simply thrown up their hands and closed the case for being too difficult to work on?

    Let’s pray for the souls of these babies, and for the well-being of the surviving child. And deepest condolences to the loved ones of these victims.

    Once again, a personal tragedy teaches a lesson that young people should heed — it’s reported the children had a father who did not want to support them, and didn’t, and the mother apparently became hopelessly depressed. Something like this can happen to any person who has children recklessly.

  7. Hurt says:

    She should certainly be remanded while having the necessary psychological help to improve her health. This is a shame and Belize needs to be aware that there are certainly women who are capable of this. There are people right amongst us that we might not even suspect. Most of them become annoyed at the fact that the father of their child(ren) is no longer interested in being with them and then they turn their anger towards the child(ren). So heartless…lots of people are unable to make children and it is just such an unfortunate thing what this lady has done. I really hope the best for that child who witnessed this crime. I also wish the woman gets the help that she needs. Sad sad sad

  8. FAIR JUSTICE says:

    NOW THIS IS HEART WRENCHING….If these dead beat dads would take responsibility in taking care of their children we wouldn’t have these sorts of disasters. Our teens need to be educated about teen pregnancy. These kids making babies out there and dont have the finance to sustain a family.

  9. bmp says:

    what a tragic am really shoked. . . poor little babies should have give them away instead of taking their inocent lives. what a sin!!!!!!!

  10. MINA says:

    she needs to be punished for such a terrible crime that !@#$%! she needs to go to jail for life with parole! how the hell cud she do such a thing! i hope she gets beaten in jail for this! if you didnt want the kids why didnt she kill herself and not the kids or give the kids to someone! and i blame the mother becuz she doesnt need a man in her life to take care of her kids!

  11. UNIBAM DESTROYER says:

    THIS IS SO SAD, OUR GOV HELPING THE RICH GET RICHER AND TURNING THEIR BACK AT THE POOR AND NEEDY !!!
    BUT THERE IS HOPE, EVEN THOUGH IT MAY SEEM TO BE SO FAR , IT MAY BE SO NEAR, THAT IS GOD.
    ONLY GOD CAN HELP BELIZE, WE CAN ONLY ASK GOD FOR A BETTER GOV.
    AGAIN , WE CANNOT BLAME THE CHURCHES FOR THIS, BECAUSE WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS GOV HAS US SO TERRORIZED WITH THEIR GANGS THAT THE CHURCH LEADERS ARE AFRAID TO GO OUT AT NIGHT AND PREACH THE WORD OF GOD.
    THIS GOV HAS THE ENTIRE NATION SUPPRESSED AND TERRORIZED WITH IT`S GANGS TACTICS.
    WHO KNOWS, MAYBE THAT MOTHER WAS AFRAID OF WORKING AT NIGHT, SHE MAY HAVE HAD SUCH A HARD TIME WITH HER KIDS, BUT THIS GOV PREFER TO FEED THE GANGS, WHAT A !@&^&%%!@ DISASTER FOR BELIZE !
    !!!!

  12. Gothic Girl says:

    i have two beautiful daughter i would never do any thing like this to them ….but it really sad …… only she know wat she was dealing with n wat is going on in her life …but some father need to take care of they !&*! kids ……

  13. Nadia says:

    We all agree such a tradgedy a terrible crime , but obviously the mom had mental issues she was so young and left to take care of all those kids can you imagine what state of mind she was in feeling depressed trying to provide for her children , whoever the father is he should be ashamed, don’t be too quick to judge her I hope she gets the help she needs, Belize needs to put in place a program for birth control to help all the young mothers. Remember some people can take pressure but there is others that will crack under pressure and obviously she was mentally unstable no one in their right mind would commit such a crime against their own children.

  14. Princess Meadows says:

    No one knew what the mother was going through, I believe the authorities should help her instead of treating her like a criminal, she didn’t want her angels to punish, that’s why she did that horrible act. I am not saying it is right, but only she knows. Rest in peace darlings, and God will take care of the rest.

  15. Tiffany says:

    This young lady needs to be put in jail and plus throw away the keys.I myself have been through alot but not one day did it cross my mind to kill my two kids. One, they didn’t ask to come into this world we as parents brought them here; therefore, from the time we made that choice we should do everything in our power to shelter and protect them not harm them. Don’t tell me she is crazy because a mentally ill person would not take there child and drown them one by one. I believe she thought of what she was doing and executed her plan. The person that is really hurt from this the most is the child that lived my prayers go out to that child because she will remember this incident for the rest of her life not the mother. I surely hope the child can get throught this ourdeal.

  16. James says:

    No excuses. The punishment should fit the crime. Some feel pitty on the mother, but what about the little girl trying to run away from all it? What trauma and shock she must be living now? Walking alone, picking up stones to chase dogs/ Being alone, until the god people came to help. That alone is a sad and shocking part of all this.

  17. shorti_T@yahoo.com says:

    We all are to blame. Society on a whole needs to rethink what society means. We need to look after our community … our neighbours, each other. We are suppose to support each other in growing up our children. Difficult I know, especially when you see those that are just knocking around and no care for the children they bring into this world. But …

  18. Bear says:

    I believe there is a cultural aspect to this tragedy, in addition to a mental health issue. My wife is Asian, and she tells me that this form of murder/suicide by mothers is a traditional act in China and Vietnam, if not other Asian nations as well.

    We need national focus on creating some mental health resources. We need active efforts to FORCE deadbeat fathers to support their children or go to jail. I pray there is some responsible party to give a good future to the surviving 6 year old, who really needs our prayers.

    The father should be charged and locked up now, since it appears his criminal irresponsibility is part of the tragic chain that killed these babies — he has their blood on his worthless hands.

    Finally, @Storm has a good point — let’s all of us remember and demand answers about the murder of Kaylee Burgess. A people that lets its babies be killed with no consequences will be damned by God.

  19. It's me says:

    So sad about this true life story! It could have been post partum depression only God knows. Indeed she committed a horrible act and she should be punished for that, she also needs to be evaluated. as for the FATHER, Mr. Prime minister please make this man support these children financially…. Physically hmm not near them, but financially Yes! If not put him in jail!!!!!

  20. Belizean Pride says:

    i’m speechless but surely can’t cast a stone to someone like this, we should all pray for her mental health and emotional stress, God please help this woman and have the little angels at your side.

  21. Belizean Pride says:

    if i would have the means enough i wouldn’t think twice to adopt that baby girl that survive and give her the love she needs, if someone out there is willing to do so and have the means i suggest please do it for the love of this baby girl, being around missing her mom and all of that might keep bringing her memories of this tragic.

  22. hydro says:

    It is not that woman’s fault. It is our fault those babies are dead. Do you see how people will out rightly verbalize their hatred and wish for condemnation towards a human being they have never even met in their lives?

    Do not say society needs to change. Say, we need to change. Because we are society. enough with the pointing fingers and start by reading up on infanticide. You may be able to prevent another case like this. You know, that woman only needed for someone to ask her how she felt. All she needed was a shoulder to cry on. Those babies would not be dead today.

  23. A Jew says:

    Murder is murder no matter if she is mentally unstable or a victim of domestic abuse. Fin!

  24. sad says:

    It is really a tragic story. Very very very very sad, I partially blame the mother but fully blame the children father. In today’s society, here in Belize, many men are just making kids and leaving the women with the full responsibilities of taking and raising the child/ren by their self like they are the only one who are responsible.
    Indeed, what she was so wrong. there are many options that she could have dealt with. They do have people who wants to adopt child/ren, childrens’ home is available and she could have try and find work.
    I am a single mother of two beautiful kids, but not one day it cross my mind with negativity. yes it is a struggling situation when you do not have the father’s support but kids did not ask or beg us to come in this world. we bring them to life so we must be responsible.
    I believe that there should be a law where by no matter what the circumstances be, each father that have kids out there should automatically be giving financial support to the woman especially when it is registered in father’s name.
    May those innocent kids rest in peace and watch over the surviving victims.RIP.

  25. Eye in the Sky says:

    They say she had her first baby at a very young age.

    I think when something like that happens they should sterilize the mother so she does no have more babies.

    The guys who have kids with several differnt mothers should be sterilized too.

  26. anewvoice says:

    Instead of making excuses for her behavior or blaming television/media people need to accept the fact that some people just run out of options however never should one’s options be to kill. But what’s baffling to me is that she didn’t try to kill herself, FIRST. And let me say one more thing, she is not the only one in Belize who has had several kids at the age of 15. Heck that’s probably more than 75% if not more of the poor population that have kinds at young age so if it’s being said that because of her age then expect more parents murdering their kids. So sad and pitiful.

  27. Ramiro says:

    We all handle stress differently and it just so happened that she reached the point she could not take anymore and lost reality. She has done a wrong but we need to understand that she was in a tragic situation and felt all alone in this world. I feel like that sometimes but we leave such things for God to judge. We need to pray harder.

  28. Sorry says:

    I’m sorry and very emotional about what occurred but who the hell are you people to judge her. Yes, I am a mother and could never ever find myself doing what she did but maybe this woman was pushed to her max. So far it is said she was abused along with her children. There are other options she could have chosen but she probably didn’t want to burden her children to any. She is a troubled person and none of us now exactly what she endured in her relationship. Where was the father???? What could have driven this woman to take away the life of her own children along with wanting to take her own?? You can never know what’s behind close doors especially since it is said that she tried but all doors she found was closed to her.. I do agree she needs mental help and this has been more than a tragedy. Belize has many people who are unemployed and struggling. Not many people can deal with there daily lives and be strong. She seems to be a woman who gave up completely and just had enough. Enough with the blames. She probably didn’t have anyone to lean on.

  29. Andy says:

    So sad to hear what happen and knows that it is 100% wrong what she did but only God knows what she was going through. Lets pray that something like this does not happen again. With all the problems that we are having as a country the last thing we would want is another problem with UNIBAM. These things are cursed to us as a nation. Stand up for our kids and say no to UNIBAM! God open the eyes of our leaders!!!

  30. Shocked says:

    There is no excuse whatsoever to kill your own children. Many women in this world are going through much more difficult situations and killing their children is never an option. But on the other hand their is no excuse for the government not doing anything to help mothers who are in need,and prosecute fathers who are neglecting their children both of them should be thrown in jail not just the murderous mother but also the irresponsible father.

  31. cammy says:

    That just sad not sure what would push a mother to this but who am i to judge,my opinion,me personally can’t see myself doing such a crazy thing,regardless of hat u go through that is your babies,your flesh your blood,you held all 4 of those wonderful kids in your tummy 4 9mths each,felt their pain,cry 4 them and its sad how you can just take their life,may god have mercy on her soul

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