Home alone toddler drowns in Sophia drain

A one-year-old boy, left at home unsupervised when his mother went to pick up his sister from school, drowned in a drain at Sophia yesterday.

June Ann Harris, 39, left her son Dequan sleeping in their Lot 593 ‘D’ Field Sophia house

June Ann Harris with her one-year-old son Dequan, who was found dead in a drain in front of their house.
June Ann Harris with her one-year-old son Dequan, who was found dead in a drain in front of their house.

and went to pick up her four-year-old daughter from school in ‘B’ Field. Harris didn’t want to wake the sleeping child and thought she could pick up her daughter quickly before he woke up.

According to the dead child’s grandmother Vanessa, an uncle was supposed to be watching the baby but he was out catching fish and the child’s mother did not inform neighbours that the baby was sleeping inside.

It is believed that the toddler was able to push open the front door and fell into the drain in the front of the home as the gate was left open. He was found floating in the drain after his mother returned home with her small daughter.

The child’s grandmother told Stabroek News that his mother was inconsolable and that she had never before left her baby home alone.

Letitia Fields, one of the Harris’ neighbours, stated that the child’s mother would often times alert a neighbour if she needed her children to be supervised. She said that Harris has a good relationship with neighbours and other mothers in the area and they would often supervise each other’s children whenever necessary. “When she come back, when I go to see the child was frothing at the mouth,” she noted.

Another neighbour, Suzie Phang said that since she lived next door, Harris would often call on her to watch the young children because she sold at the market with her mother.

Phang told Stabroek News that after baby Dequan was discovered, they rushed him to Georgetown Hospital but he was already dead.

The drain in front of their home at Sophia where one-year-old Dequan was found floating by his mother.
The drain in front of their home at Sophia where one-year-old Dequan was found floating by his mother.

Harris has six children, including the baby but only three of them lived with her. While she was being questioned at the police station, her four-year-old daughter was left with Phang. The child’s mother was released around 5pm.

The baby’s father returned to the interior where he works on Monday. According to the grandmother, the father will need to be contacted prior to any funeral arrangements being made.

Neighbours, who congregated outside of Harris’ home, told Stabroek News that she was a good mother. “She does try fuh dem children, try hard,” one of them repeatedly stated. A few neighbours stated that the Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA) needs to be involved, but the majority noted that they would pray that the CC&PA did not remove Harris’ two other children from her care.

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