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Dec 8, 2016

Baby Janeeka’s Death Not Natural; Who’s Responsible?

Janeeka Campbell

There are still lingering questions on the death of Janeeka Campbell, a two year old toddler, who succumbed to injuries on Tuesday night under dubious circumstances. The child was visiting her father in the village of Saint Matthews, Cayo District.  Her father has not been located, but according to the mother who is in police custody, the child fell and had to be rushed for medical attention, but died on the way to the hospital.  Bruises were found on her body and a postmortem this afternoon, has raised further questions. A meeting is to be held between police and the pathologist on Friday. News Five’s Duane Moody spoke to family members today.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Anxiety mounted today as family members, as well as the public, awaited the results of a postmortem on the body of Baby Janeeka Campbell, who died on Tuesday night under mysterious circumstances. The twenty-three month toddler, who lived in Belize City with her mother, was taken to Saint Matthews Village on the George Price Highway to visit with her father. Since then conflicting reports surfaced; suggesting that either the child died from an accidental fall or she was killed.


Sheila Giuseppe

Sheila Giuseppe, Grandmother

“I’m not sure if it was an abusive relationship, I don’t know because she don’t tell me anything. But the bottom line is my baby is dead and I need some answers.

[I’m] on my way now because I really need to get some answers because yo hear this one say oh this and that she was malnourished and underweight and I don’t know where. It’s so sad that everybody keeps pointing fingers and saying negative things without really knowing the facts; I can’t do that. I need to know what really took place at that house at that particular time with Janeeka.”


According to Sheila Giuseppe, who raised Janeeka as her granddaughter, the mother is reporting that when they discovered the child on the ground, they gave her a bath and then realized that she was not breathing well. That’s when assistance from the ambulance service and the police was sought.


Sheila Giuseppe

“I’ve been hearing a whole lot of conflicting stories. That her dad was asleep when she fell down and he didn’t know. she fell down so many flights of stairs and when he woke up and saw the baby was crying and full of mud, then he went and gave her a bath and she had difficulty breathing. I don’t know what to believe. I don’t know if the mother had anything to do with. I don’t know if there was abuse in the home when they were up there; I know at my house there wasn’t any.”


Howell Gillett

Sr. Supt. Howell Gillett, O.C., Belmopan Police [File: December 7th, 2016]

“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.”


This afternoon, an autopsy was conducted on the body of Baby Janeeka. Official reports are that the child did not die of natural causes and police and the pathologist will meet to determine what could have led to the trauma that the toddler sustained.  But is the tragic incident a case of neglect?


Sheila Giuseppe

“The neglect would come from him, whoever was the caregiver at the time not paying any attention and taking care of the child the way she was supposed to be taken care of because she was a very busy-body child. I pray very much that justice will be done and if mother and father did anything wrong to that baby, that they both be punished or if it is only one, he be punished or she be punished. I don’t care cause Janeeka was my baby.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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