Features — 07 May 2013 — by Miriam Longsworth
Two infants drown in the Belize District

Separate incidents of infant drowning occurred over the weekend

One-year-old Kyle Leslie of Belize City was found drooping over a bucket of water in his home on Friday, May 3, 2013.

Subsequently, on Saturday, May 4, five-year-old David Cruz drowned in a pond behind his home in Burrell Boom Village.

Kyle’s mother, Tanya Leslie, 19, said that she went outside for about five minutes to talk to someone and when she went back into the house she found Kyle leaning over a bucket of water in the house. Leslie said that the bucket was kept in the house as a container in which they washed dishes.

She told us that it seemed that the baby had been playing in the water because they found his truck next to the bucket and water was in the truck. Inside the bucket were three plastic cups, which Leslie said were drinking cups that were kept on the purified water container.

Leslie’s other son, a two-year-old, was also left in the house when she went outside. She told us that when she walked into the house, he was standing at the door looking back at his brother lying over the bucket.

Leslie said she rushed over to Kyle, who was still alive, and squeezed his stomach. The baby then vomited water. Leslie then caught a taxi to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). On the way to the hospital she tried to keep the baby awake but when they arrived her son was foaming at the nose and wasn’t breathing.

Leslie was detained for 48 hours but was released on Sunday, May 5. No charges were brought against her at that time. However, Leslie was once again detained today for more questioning, but was released. Police say investigation into the matter continues.

In a separate incident, sometime between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, the family of David Cruz was near a pond about 100 feet away from the family’s house. They had left some grass burning in the yard while they were near the pond, and when the fire began to spread near their house, they ran over to try to contain it. It was at this time, it is believed, that the baby drowned in the pond.

We spoke to David’s uncle, Jose Tobar, today, Monday, who assured us that the incident was not the result of carelessness. He wasn’t present at the time of the incident but told us what his sister, mother of the child, told him.

He said that when the family ran over to where the fire was, no one noticed that David did not leave the pond with them. When they did realize that the child wasn’t there, they went back to the pond and found him floating in the water. David’s mother, Elvis Raquel Carcamo, retrieved him from the water. He was rushed to the KHMH but was pronounced dead at 7:00 p.m.

Tobar told us that it was a usual practice for the children to be given a life jacket when they go near the pond, but David wasn’t wearing one when the incident occurred because he gave his jacket to one of his older siblings.

Tobar said he’s not sure what the pond was used for, but he knows that they used to like sitting near it while they drank or ate coconuts. He said the children would go on the pier but they never jumped in, and he is not sure if his nephew jumped or slipped in the pond that day.

Tobar said that the situation is difficult for them all because David was loved by his family. David was the youngest of his mother’s three children and was her only son.

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