“I SENT my son alive, laughing with his father and he comes back to me dead. He is not welcomed here!”
This from Maria Granger as she told police that the father of her son Prince Francette, three, would not be allowed to attend the funeral which was held at Maria’s home yesterday.
Cpl Singh and other officers visited the grieving woman at the house of mourning in Gaffoor Trace, Tableland asking if Prince’s father Justin Francette could attend the funeral and say a final farewell. Granger said “no”, saying there was just too many questions still unanswered regarding her son’s death.
Cpl Singh told Granger that a man is innocent until proven guilty and he (Francette) wanted to attend the funeral to get closure by telling his son farewell. Granger said she would not allow Francette to step into her home for the funeral. If he wanted, she added, Francette could go to the cemetery which is a public place, to see their son buried.
Told by police that he would not be allowed to the funeral, the 22-year-old Francette stayed away from the funeral and also the buried. Contacted later, he said, “I done loss my child already.” Francette confirmed that he held a small memorial service for his son yesterday at his home.
The child suffered fatal burns at 2 pm last Friday when his father’s car caught fire at Cito Road in Tabaquite. The child was lying in the backseat of the car when it caught fire. He was taken by ambulance to the San Fernando General Hospital where he died while receiving emergency treatment.
Before the start of the funeral, Granger told mourners that the police never visited her to listen to her concerns. “If there is an investigation into my son’s death why isn’t the police talking to me,” she asked. The grieving woman questioned police for not paying attention to what she had to say regarding her child’s death.
Prince’s great-grandmother Margaret Harricharan, 69, who was also at the funeral, told Newsday that the child had been staying with her in Tableland since he was four months old. She said that last Friday was the first time this year that Prince visited his father’s home in Tabaquite, when the fire took place.
Granger said that last Friday, when she realised her son was not returned to her, she called the Brasso police to make a report not knowing then, that her son had suffered major burns and was at hospital. “I tried calling Justin but I got no answer,” Granger said, adding that she began to get “a bad feeling” when she could not contact Francette.
Pastor Mervyn Rodriguez who officiated at the funeral said that although Prince was only three, he touched the lives of all whom he interacted with and would be lovingly remembered by everyone who knew him. He called on family members to be strong and bond together for the sake of Prince’s memory.