Baby found in latrine was stillborn, autopsy finds

-mother hospitalised

Priya Mootoor lives in the bottom flat of this two-storey Goed Fortuin, WBD house. A total of 21 persons occupy the house.

An autopsy yesterday determined that the baby that was found in a latrine at Goed Fortuin, West Bank Demerara on Wednesday was stillborn.

As a result, the baby’s 25-year-old mother, Priya Mootoor, is no longer the subject of a police investigation for its death. It is believed that the young mother disposed the child in the latrine behind her home after the stillbirth.

Up to yesterday, Mootoor remained a patient at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Divisional Commander Edmond Cooper yesterday confirmed to Stabroek News that the police were investigating the discovery, which took place around 2 pm on Wednesday at Lot O Goed Fortuin Housing Scheme.

Priya Mootoor

The baby would have been Mootoor’s third child. Her two other children, who are ages five and two, have since been taken into the care of their father.

Mootoor resides in the bottom flat of a two-storey wooden house, which is occupied by a total of 21 persons.

An occupant of the upper flat of the house told the police that she was in her apartment when Mootoor complained about experiencing pain and bleeding. As a result, she said she advised Mootoor to visit the hospital but the woman refused and went into her apartment with her two children.

The woman reportedly said that she called out to Mootoor several times but got no answer. She subsequently returned upstairs.

The latrine behind the house where the baby was discovered

Later, another resident of the house went to use the latrine and he noticed blood on the floor. Upon checking, he reportedly observed movements in the latrine and the baby was then discovered. The baby was rushed to the West Demerara Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

A relative reportedly told the police that she saw Mootoor cleaning blood from the lower part of her body. When she questioned Mootoor, the relative said, the young mother related that she went to the latrine and had started bleeding and the baby “fell out.”

Cooper explained to Stabroek News that the police were initially investigating the case as a possible infanticide. However, he said the autopsy showed that was child was not born alive.  “…The child was born dead. If he was breathing independently after birth… then we would have proceeded down the road of infanticide,” he noted.

Mootoor’s grandmother told this newspaper that her family and the community were in a state of shock at the events that unfolded.

She is the owner of the house where Mootoor resides. “Is a set of them and they deh all ova the place, so me tell them come hay and stay and this ah wah them ah do,” the teary-eyed woman said.

Meanwhile, a neighbour, Abiola (only name given), said Mootoor initially claimed it wasn’t her baby. “When she do come out and come to me I ask her where the baby deh. Then she, by the pressure more on she now, she seh she was feeling pain and she went into the toilet and the baby come out. So I [ask] her why she didn’t call somebody. Even if the baby come out, why she didn’t call somebody…? It appears as though the baby born before the time when they discover the child in the toilet because she had time fah clean up and everything,” she said.

She added that last Friday was the first time Mootoor joined a clinic since her pregnancy.

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