T&T 2-year-old girl dies after sexual and physical abuse; relatives held

(Trinidad Express) Little Aaliyah Johnson was sexually and physically abused before her unresponsive body was taken to the Siparia hospital on Easter Sunday.

Aaliyah Johnson

This is the report police officers are investigating as a couple, close relatives to the two-and-half-year-old, are being questioned in connection with the child’s death.

On Monday, family members of the teenage girl and the 23-year-old man who took Aaliyah to the Siparia District Health Facility told conflicting stories about the two people with whom Aaliyah would have spent her last moments.

At Maria David Trace in Siparia, the home of the man and Aaliyah’s residence since Carnival Monday, family members said a close female relative was abusive to the child and would threaten to kill her.

Pensioner Dhasia Ramjohn said the teen used to beat Aaliyah, who would often go without food or water and also remain locked in the room while the young woman went out.

Family members said Aailyah mingling with them and their children was an act the young woman disliked, and it was the young man who was left to care for the child.

Sharmatie Ramjohn said she was at home on Sunday night when she heard the teen say the child had fallen off the bed.

Aaliyah’s home was a one-room, galvanised-iron structure built under Dhasia Ramjohn’s house.

It contained the bare necessities, including a three-foot-high makeshift bed. Aaliyah’s clothing hung along a line around the 10×10 structure.

Sharmatie Ramjohn said the young woman was holding Aaliyah on her step, and she advised the teen to call the ambulance when she realised Aaliyah’s hands and feet were cold.

Aaliyah was pronounced dead on arrival at the Siparia hospital.

Over at Marigold Drive, Quinam Road, Siparia, family members of the young woman painted a different picture.

“She loved that child too bad. She would never beat that child…. She always had the child with her,” Victor Garcia said.

He said at Maria David Trace, Siparia, the teenager would always have trouble with her in-laws.

He said the young woman came to his home last week and was expected back on Easter Sunday. Instead, she called and told her family she was being beaten by a man.

He said the next message the family got was that Aaliyah had died. They said they had received no details about the child’s death.

Penal police officers are continuing investigations

Their report said it was around 7.45 p.m. that they were contacted by hospital authorities after an unresponsive child, who was bleeding from her private parts, was brought to the hospital.

The child’s body bore marks of violence and, also, sexual abuse, police said.

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