RACQUEL GEORGE was a healthy 15-month-old toddler on Wednesday morning. But by 8.30 pm, she was dead.
An autopsy at the Forensic Science Centre yesterday, revealed she died from blunt force trauma to the back, spine and head. Someone had beaten her to death.
Police said the suspect is a 17-year-old close male relative who was entrusted to care for the child while her mother went to work.
Racquel lived with her mother Charlene George, a member of the Special Reserve Police, and the teenage boy at Secondary School Road in Palo Seco.
Police said the child’s father Sherwin John, also an SRP, works with the Praedial Larceny Squad.
George left the toddler in the care of the boy and went to work in the Central Division. She returned shortly after 8 pm on Wednesday and found the little girl unresponsive. She took the child to the Siparia district health facility where doctors determined that she was dead.
Southern-western police, among them Insp Khan, Cpl Mungalsingh, PCs Aguillera and Heeralal and WPC Jeffrey, visited the area but the suspect had gone into hiding. Under the co-ordination of Snr Supt Adams and Supt Phillip, police launched a manhunt.
Insp Banwarie led the exercise which ended at about 2 pm when PCs Smith, Durity and other police arrested the suspect in a forested area near the house.
Residents expressed shock and disgust over the killing, saying they never imagined such a tragedy in the area. The mother and daughter only moved into the area in January and, about three weeks ago the suspect came to stay with them. They described him as a “troubled child” who previously lived in Chaguanas.
Residents told Newsday they heard Racquel crying in the house but paid no mind. It was only when the mother returned home and alerted them that neighbours learnt what had happened.
“We know she was alive at about 3 pm because we heard her cry. After that, there were no sounds.
We saw the boy outside flying kite. He went to the back of the house and we did not see him again. When Charlene came and bawled out, then we heard about it,” said a resident.
The wooden one-bedroom plywood house, which is not wired for electricity, remained cordoned off up to yesterday. Residents spotted the suspect as he tried to re-enter the locked house.