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Aug 21, 2006

Toddler drowns in bucket of water

Story PictureThe combination of babies, buckets and water has once again proved fatal to a Belizean toddler. This morning I sought out the story behind the latest accidental death … and found the details all too familiar.

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
Fourteen month old Jaisha Smith and her two year old brother were left in the care of their babysitter: a thirteen year old girl who is also eight months pregnant. According to the minor, the children?s mother, twenty-one year old Elsy Hunter, so she could go to work at a city restaurant dropped off the kids around ten on Saturday morning. Around two that afternoon the babysitter said she gave Jaisha a bottle and put her to lie down in this crib while her little brother slept in an adjacent bedroom. That?s when the babysitter says she decided to leave the house to go and buy at a shop but when she returned some twenty minutes later she found the baby head down in a bucket with about five inches of water.

Voice of Babysitter
?When I turn around the baby was right there in the bucket.?

Jacqueline Godwin
?What did you do??

Voice of Babysitter
?What I did was I took her upstairs, and the lady told me to take her to the hospital. I told the lady to watch the next baby, while I took the baby to the hospital. Then when I go to the hospital they told me that there was nothing they could do for the baby.?

Because Jaisha?s bottle was also found in the bucket of water it is believed she may have managed to climb out of the crib and walked across the room to where the bucket stood next to the refrigerator. It is believed that she then dropped the bottle into the bucket, leaned over to retrieve it and fell in. The police have since taken the bucket for evidence.

Voice of Babysitter
?I want to see the mother. I already went to look for her, but I want to talk to her because I want to know how she will deal with this. I told her that I have to put for the funeral right.?

The thirteen year old, who lives with her twenty seven year old boyfriend and her mother said she has been babysitting the children for two weeks. The mother of the deceased was too distraught to speak to News Five but said she was not aware that the babysitter was so young. The baby?s father, forty-one year old Huborth Smith, who does not live with the family, says he was not even aware of who was watching his son and daughter.

Huborth Smith, Father
?She got a babysitter, but I don?t know the babysitter good. So I can?t tell you anything else about that.?

Jacqueline Godwin
?So you didn?t know that the babysitter was a minor herself, was only thirteen years old??

Huborth Smith
?I didn?t know that. If I had known that I would have told her something because it?s my children. How will you leave a minor to take care of another minor? Sometimes we would talk about the baby and I would tell her to take good care of the baby. That she must take care of my baby because she just be through family court and all them thing, so … you understand.?

Smith says the last time he saw his daughter was early that Saturday morning. He did not hear about the tragedy until that night.

Huborth Smith
?Really about seven thirty.?

Jacqueline Godwin
?The night??

Huborth Smith
?The night. They said they couldn?t find me, but they know where I go to hangout. Everyday they know where I go hangout, and I no move from there.?

The police say they are investigating the case to see if anyone should be charged in connection with the baby?s death.

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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