Letters & Opinion, Sounding Off

Why Did This Toddler Have To Die?

Image of Rochelle Gonzales
Image of Rochelle Gonzales
Rochelle Gonzales

WHAT is St. Lucia coming to these days when a child, a four year old is killed…while in the custody of the persons who are supposed to be loving and protecting him?

People with hearts across the island had those hearts broken over the weekend after little Milan Jn Baptiste succumbed to apparent severe head injuries on Friday, five days after he was admitted to the hospital.

Word is that the tot, who was in the custodial care of the father and stepmother due to the mother’s inability to raise him as a result of financial constraints, had been a victim of violence in the past and the mother had made reports to the Department of Social Services but little to nothing was done.

According to reports, the stepmother and the child’s father both have different stories where the stepmother is claiming that the child fell but the father is saying that the child did not. But with all that is said and done, who should really be blamed in this matter?

The law and possibly the courts will have to rule in this matter, but who must be held responsible?

Now, I live in a household where both my partner and I are super busy but no matter how hectic things get, we still make time, even the tiniest amount of time for our children because that is our job! No matter the demands of the world, the well-being of our children is and must always be first…no exceptions.

So how could this child be living under the same roof as his guardians and be covered with bruises and those responsible didn’t notice? Could it be the case where someone did know what was going on but was too careless to bother? Could it be a case where the adults were protecting each other if indeed the child was being abused?

What on God’s green earth could cause anyone to beat a child, a baby so badly that he ends up hospitalised, far less for dead? I can’t even begin to imagine a valid reason and trust me when I say that I have a wild imagination. I can guess that he was a handful…like every child in the world at that age, but if you could not handle the heat, why didn’t you get out of that kitchen? Or if your marriage was so hard to give up, why couldn’t some arrangement have been made to have the child stay over at a relative whether it’s his or the mother’s? I mean, was there nothing that could have been done to get the child to a place where he was out of the hair of whoever was abusing him? Why was nothing said to the authorities or anybody who had the power to step in and help?

What about the mother? Let’s look at her. Now whilst it is evident that you were not the child’s primary guardian, you have reportedly claimed to have seen bruises all over your son’s body on separate occasions and made reports to social services. But here’s where I get lost…as the mother, even though the child is not in your care and you cannot legally keep the child away from the father without facing criminal charges, why didn’t you act like a mother bear or a lioness and break down the doors of the nearest police stations to report these incidents? Why didn’t you do like the ultimate annoying pest, the mosquito, and bug the heck out of social services until they actually stepped in and saved your son’s life? Why didn’t you stop at nothing to ensure that your child was in a safe environment so that he could be alive today? So many shouldas, wouldas, couldas but it’s all too little too late now, isn’t it?!

Don’t think I’m finished you know…nooo, there’s one more finger of blame to point…Social Services, where were you and why did you drag your feet so much? Now I get that you guys are inundated to the eyeballs with cases similar to this one but seriously, you all need a serious overhaul so that the reason behind your stagnant performance can be found and fixed…things are dire and you guys have been too ineffective for too long. I hate to have to use such harsh words given the current circumstances of under funding and lack of resources but in my opinion, if you guys had the burning passion to do the jobs that you are meant to be doing then you all could have helped hundreds if not thousands more and saved lives including this little angel’s.

This all brings back the painful memories of 23 month old Takiska Fanis who was killed after receiving a blow to the head allegedly by her stepfather who also went on to kill her pregnant 17 year old mother Christel Fanis of Bois Patat.

Whilst I’m thankful that cases of murdered children in St. Lucia are rare, to me, the words death, murder and child should never go in the same sentence. So in other words, one murdered child is way too many.

Say what you may but the constant upgrades of violence in St. Lucia from the murders of gangsters and thugs to innocent passer-by to women and now to children…I don’t know what the reason is for all of this and what it will take to bring this island back to its glory, but I can tell you this: at the current rate that the violence is going, I’m considering reaching out to NASA and asking them to sign me up for their mission to populate Mars because planet earth is near its end. But seriously, with all jokes aside, we are in serious trouble and right now, we need nothing short of a miracle.

Rochelle entered the Media fraternity in May 2011 as a fresh-faced young woman with a passion for the English language, a thirst for worldly knowledge and a longing to inform the world of what was happening around them, whether it was good or bad.

She began as part of a small news team at Choice Television, which falls under the MediaZone umbrella. She was hired as one of the original members of the newly created Choice News Now team...Read full bio...



  1. The movie “The Martian”made its debut in the NYC cinema houses last week-to a true 4 star rating. Critics were piling the mosh pit over each other giving it the highest ratings. It also broke many box office sales records.
    I have been a believer in the serious colonization of Mars since my primary school years at RC Boys.
    Since then, all the great sci fi movies have stimulated my earliest belief that humankind could settle on Mars and that Mars was amenable to said settlement.
    Our Divine Master did not limit us to Eden- Humans have allowed Earth to become a prison and now cesspool.
    It is very apparent that we were destined to be voyagers. We have paid very little attention to our interplanetary purpose.
    Perhaps, we are too busy with latent social-emotional needs. We have become obsessed with sensory gratification much like infants relied on sensory gratification for early survival.
    Consequently, we are overwrought with laissez-faire attitude.
    Hence, the careless departure of rudimentary if not natural responsibilities such as nurturing /caring for children. Persons and systems FAILED that child.
    The hoof-beats of the 4 horsemen in The Book of Revelation are growing louder amidst the irrational civic mindlessness of our public and the rising threats of open combat among nations small and large.
    The location of Armageddon was predicted for the MidEast. The current high stakes in the vicinity of Turkey-Syria-Iraq-Iran- with Putin as nouveau quarterback is most ominous.
    Still we can only fictionalize colonizing Mars -4 decades after walking on the moon!
    Good grief-amen.

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