The suspect, an 18-year-old “pregnant” mother of one, was charged by Sgt Stephen Ragbir of the Penal Police Station yesterday morning following instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions. The charge came a day after the child was laid to rest at the Siparia Public Cemetery. The suspect was living in a small galvanized room under the house at Maria David Trace in San Francique, near Siparia, with Aliyah when she died.

One of the suspect’s male friends, Ramdharry Ramjohn, 23, who was also detained by police since the child’s death, was released on Saturday at about 11.30 pm without any charges being laid against him.

Aliyah, fondly called “Mama” and “Sunshine”, succumbed to internal injuries at the Siparia Health Facility on Easter Sunday after allegedly being beaten.

Pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov last Wednesday performed an autopsy which revealed Aliyah died from blunt force abdominal trauma and acute internal blood loss. So severe were the blows to her abdomen, her liver ruptured, causing her to bleed to death.

Yesterday, Ramjohn told Newsday he was saddened by the manner in which Aliyah died. Ramjohn, a construction worker, said he was released from police custody simply because he is innocent.

Speaking in a soft tone of voice while keeping his eyes to the ground, Ramjohn said he often took care of Aliyah before and after work. He recalled that on the day Aliyah died, she was complaining about belly aches and was going to the toilet frequently. Ramjohn said he was folding clothes in his room when he saw Aliyah falling down.

“I rushed and picked her up. I started asking what was the problem with the child. I had to quarrel with the relative for her to call an ambulance. When the ambulance came, “Mama” was dozing off and I asked if she wanted water or something to drink,” Ramjohn said.

“When that child died, I grieved. There is nothing I could do for (the suspect) but I am sorry for her.,” Ramjohn said.

A few weeks ago, Ramjohn said the suspect learnt she was pregnant following a test.

Ramjohn, who himself has a son from a previous relationship, said he was happy to hear that news then but is quite saddened now that the suspect has been arrested for Aliyah’s death. Ramjohn said he was happy to be home and added that the six days spent in custody were very difficult. He told Newsday while in custody, prior to the autopsy being done on Aliyah, a police officer beat him.

Ramjohn’s father, Ramjohn Hosein, 67, said the suspect had approached him a few weeks ago about adopting the child.

He said had he known the child would have died in the manner she did, he would have gone through the legal process for Aliyah.

“ I am taking care of three grandchildren and others come over on a daily basis. Aliyah was like one of my own. This death is very painful for us. We loved the child,” Hosein told Newsday.



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