WHAT started as a church outing on a beach in Vieux-Fort last Sunday, ended in tragedy for a family when one of its members drowned under mysterious circumstances.
The lifeless body of four-year-old Terrel Joshua Elibox of Augier in Vieux-Fort was discovered early Tuesday floating on the sea at Sandy beach in Vieux Fort, some distance from BoisChadon, where the outing was held.
It is believed that Elibox met his demise after he fell off a surfboard while being given a ride by an individual who was kite surfing.
However, another theory suggests that the child was seen struggling in the water by a stranger who had attempted to save him but to no avail.
According to Inspector MarcellinusLeonce of the Vieux Fort Police Station, a non-national who is not a guest at any hotel on the island was held for questioning regarding the incident, but was later released.
“We have taken statements from a number of people and are now analyzing these statements. So far we have not made any arrest….maybe later,” he said.
There are conflicting reports about the incident which has left the family of Elibox devastated and seeking answers.
According to Marcellina Albert, the grandmother of the deceased, her grandson was “kidnapped” by a stranger and taken into the sea on board a surf board where he met his death.
Albert, who was on the beach at the time of the incident but did not see when her grandson was taken into the water said no one had given the man permission to give her grandson a ride on the surf board. She added that the children who were playing with him on the beach saw the “white man” going with the child and they raised the alarm.
“Right now I can’t eat nor sleep. I cherished my grandson’s life more than mine. He will be missed by all members of his family,” she lamented.
CallistaRosarie, an aunt of Elibox, who was also on the beach at the time of the incident added that no one had given the man permission to give the child a ride on the surfboard.
Pastor Cornell Rudy Williams of Morne Zion and Revival Ministry who organized the outing is concerned about the incident and is convinced that the child was taken away from the company of children with whom he was playing on the beach.
The pastor said he did not see when the child was actually taken away . “While cleaning fish I heard someone shouting that a man had taken the child and fell in the sea with him…”
He said Elibox was seen about 300 feet from the beach in the water, adding that it is not possible for the child to find himself so far out in the sea unless someone had taken him there.
By Kingsley Emmanuel