Relative says girl was loving and affectionateResidents regret not becoming involved sooner as there were red flags
NASSAU, BAHAMAS A four-year-old girl was assaulted and died in hospital on Friday, just weeks after sources said she walked to a neighbors house from her Major Subdivision home and asked not to be sent back.
According to reports, doctors at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) informed police around 5pm on Friday that a child had been brought to the hospital unresponsive.
An investigation revealed the girl sustained several injuries to her body.
Police said an autopsy would confirm the exact cause of death.
Police advised that a man and a woman were arrested and were assisting police with their investigation.
In a correspondence with Eyewitness News, a relative identified the girl as Bella, whom he described as sweet, loving and affectionate.
Kevrick Sands, purportedly Bellas older cousin, said she was a happy girl who loved to give hugs.
She was a sweetheart, he told Eyewitness News.
Happy little girl who loved to hug and love to call me daddy, loved to play with her cousin, loved to smile always.
Happy, just a happy, little, lovable person, inside and out, [and] because of Bella showing so much love, she made me want a little girl.
The death of the young girl has sent shockwaves throughout the community and country.
Eyewitness News understands Bella had lived with her father in Freeport, Grand Bahama, before moving to New Providence to live with her mother in recent months.
Yesterday, residents of the street where the girl lived were quick to share their accounts of alleged domestic abuse and incidents in which the mother was locked out of the home, even naked on one occasion.
Some claimed the child was left home alone on occasion and while they were minded to call authorities, they were hesitant to become involved a decision several neighbors said they regret as the child may still be alive today had they done so.
Jason Lord, a resident of 50 years who lives opposite the one-story home where Bella lived, said he saw from his gate when the ambulance arrived and the man came out with the child clutched in his hands and she was unresponsive.
She was limp, Lord said.
They put her inside the ambulance and then I saw the ambulance driver come around.
As I saw him come around, I saw him jump on the passenger side of the ambulance and I beckoned to the ambulance driver to say he hit her, and that was it.
I heard him say call the police and they left, and that was it.
According to sources, police visited the home sometime last year due to a domestic dispute.
Neighbors said there was constant fighting.
One time they had a fight and she actually Lord, I wonder if I should even say this came out naked and ran around the corner and he came after her and brought her back inside and I think the police was called and came to the scene, Lord said.
But other than that, they had a volatile relationship, very volatile.
The neighbors mother, Gean Maxine Lord, 80, told Eyewitness News from her porch that Bella was in the street one day and came to her home seeking something to eat.
I came out her and sat with her and her mother came and she said she reach now, so I said okay then, wait until she parks the car and then she ran over and went to her mother, she said.
When she came over, I asked her where she came from, who she was and where she lived, and she pointed over there I gave her something to eat, and when the mother came, the mother never even came back to say well thank you.
Lord said:That should have been the red flags right there, but none of us picked up on it.
Its a few things that happened, but no one picked up on it.
According to Lord, the mother came to his gate sometime last month and said she was tired of her and her daughter being allegedly beaten.
He said: My mother was going to call the police, but you know when you dont want to get involved, you hold back. Had we known it was like that, I could guarantee you my mum would have been the first to call on the phone.
Another neighbor, who did not wish to be named, said: I dont know too much about the little girl, but she used to come out of the house and go by the woman next door, and when she (the mother) used to come for the little girl, she didnt want to go back to the stepdaddy.
Another resident of over 30 years called the incident shocking and sad.
He agreed that residents should have picked up on the warning signs, but said people tend to mind their business and when residents sought to call the police, the woman defended her partner.
The woman was always trying to defend the man when it comes to us saying police, said another resident of Morleys Close.
Up to the night when she got questioned, however the case may be, she had no type of my child dead or trying to react or whatever. She was calm as day before we knew the little girl had died because that was all we were waiting for to hear from the hospital that the little girl was okay.
Lord added:We all just mind our own business.
But thats something that we feel very, very bad about to the point where I couldnt sleep that night. Thats how bad it was, and I wish and my mum wishes she could have done something, but such a sad situation.
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