SHOCK and horror gripped the quiet, rural community of Unis Road, Busy Corner in New Grant, after news of the murder of a nine-month-old baby girl, who police said was force-fed milk laced with poison on Wednesday evening.
Selieen Ramsaroop breathed her last around 6.30 pm at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH), while doctors tried their best to resuscitate her after she was brought in motionless.
Police said they received information the baby was force-fed a concoction of milk, cereal and a poisonous substance, believed to be Malathion, at around 12.20 pm on Wednesday.
According to a Google search, Malathion is an insecticide commonly used to control mosquitoes and a variety of insects that attack fruits, vegetables, landscaping plants and shrubs.
Shortly after the baby's death, a woman was arrested and police seized a baby bottle, a plastic syringe and a bottle bearing the label Malathion.
Relatives of the baby said on Thursday there could be no excuse or reason for the crime and called on the police to investigate and charge the woman.
Police sources said the woman told investigators she became annoyed over baby Selieen's constant loud crying and used the syringe to extract a dose of the poison, which she then infused into the formula which was already in the baby bottle. She then forced the baby to drink it.
Police sources said the woman, who claimed to have been a victim of abuse, admitted she became frustrated by the baby's crying.
She said after feeding the baby, she put her on a bed to sleep. At around 3.15 pm, the baby was taken to the Princes Town Health Centre in an ambulance. Nurses contacted the Princes Town police, who accompanied the child to the SFGH.
Selieen was pronounced dead by Dr Latchan and her body was removed to the hospital’s mortuary. An autopsy will be done at the Forensic Science Centre in St James.
At the baby's home on Thursday, relatives were in deep shock over the incident. Sharmela Deonarine, 42, recalled how death has been following her family.
On August 27, 2020, she said, her son Vijay Ramsaroop, a student of Princes Town East Secondary, collapsed suddenly and died. An autopsy showed his death was from natural causes.
“Exactly 11 months later, Vijay's older brother Michael Deonarine, 25, and his wife, Crystal Jagroop, were murdered at their Gangaram Trace home, a short distance away from us,” Deonarine said.
This double murder is yet to be solved.
“And now this little one come and dead. I can’t understand why anyone would do that to a baby,” she said. She also disputed the suspect's claim of being frustrated by the baby's constant crying.
“Yuh see Selieen, that was one loving, peaceful child. She was no cry-cry baby. She was crying because this woman was forcing her to drink milk and cereal with poison. When she tasted it, she refused it, but the woman forced her to drink every drop."
Asked if help was ever sought for the suspect, Deonarine said every time they tried to help her, the woman would leave and go to the home of a man whom she (the suspect) knew and who had abused her in the past.
Pointing to the wooden walls of her home, Deonarine said she does not have money even to hold a wake for baby Selieen, far less a funeral to bury her. She pleaded for the public's help and said anyone wishing to assist can call her at 375- 3634.
Investigations into baby Selieen's death are continuing.