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Mar 29, 2005

Police investigate Hattieville drownings

Story PictureIt was not a good weekend for several Belizeans who sought relief from the intense heat. News 5′s Jacqueline Woods today visited Hattieville where two deaths by drowning are still being studied by police.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
A post mortem conducted on the bodies of eighteen-month-old Austin Young and nineteen-year-old Desiree James revealed that mother and son both died due to drowning. It is not clear what exactly transpired at this pond situated just off the Western Highway in Hattieville Village but around eight on Wednesday morning, James left her house to go and get a bucket of water. When she did not return later that day, a search was conducted but it was not until Thursday morning that children observed the baby?s body floating in the water. His mother?s corpse would be retrieved later that night. The discovery deeply troubles sixty-year-old William Crawford who has been a close friend to James since she moved to the area one year ago.

William Crawford, Friend of the Deceased
?Only he could tell me something different. If I dead tonight, I wah dead with that pan mi mind that…It hurts because to me she is like my daughter. The child to me is like my grandchild. I don?t see how she died. They found all her slippers, wash rag and her purse with money right at the whole. I would really advise the police to look into it and check the doctors? records and things to see if they found any fingerprint or so on her or find out if she just died by jumping for her child or so because that hole is deep. At least she could have battled until she reached the edge and try to get up.?

Police did detain James? boyfriend for questioning but he has since been released. According to the officer in charge Christopher Noble there is no evidence to suggest foul play but explained why they have decided to continue with the investigation.

Christopher Noble, O.C. Hattieville Police Station
? It will tell us what may have transpired. The sequence of events leading up to this lady?s demise.?

?No charges have been forthcoming because our investigation haven?t revealed anybody at fault. But we don?t believe that anybody is at fault so far for this lady?s demise.?

The pond is seventeen feet deep. Crawford says he does not know if the baby fell into the water and then James, who does not know how to swim, jumped in to save her baby?s life but Crawford strongly suspects that someone knows what happened.

William Crawford
?I no really believe that the little girl drowned. I will try to find that out until I dead. I still believe that somebody know what happened to her and only he (God) could reveal it if the policeman they don?t start to inquire around because by inquiring around somebody will slip because children were in the area who suppose to see.?

Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

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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