Four-year-old Jenice Figaro, the victim of domestic abuse, will be buried on Thursday afternoon without her killer being caught.
Jenice died seven days ago at the San Fernando General Hospital. Her relatives thought she died after eating a portion of French Fries. At the hospital, employees noticed marks on the body and sent it to the Forensic Sciences Centre, Federation Park for an autopsy.
On Tuesday, an autopsy revealed that Jenice died from blunt force trauma. In other words, she was beaten to death.
The lone suspect is a woman who was in a relationship with Jenice’s father, Robert Figaro. They lived in Williamsville. Police are looking for this woman.
But what about Jenice’s mother Shana Charles?
Charles said the last time she saw her daughter alive was in June for Jenice’s birthday.
The next time Charles saw her daughter, Jenice was lying lifeless in the mortuary at the San Fernando General Hospital.
Charles, 30, said, “My heart is aching. Only God knows how I felt on the morning when I got the call that Jenice had died. I was in a taxi going to an interview at KFC in Port of Spain. People don’t know my story so I don’t want anyone to judge me.”
Charles said she was longing to see and hug Jenice.
She added, “I wanted to go. I wanted to see my child. But I wasn’t working and I didn’t have money. I didn’t want to do without taking a snack or a little gift. I couldn’t go without something in my hand,” she said.
Charles lives in Gasparillo, five kilometers from where her daughter lived with her father and stepmother at Whiteland.
Charles broke off the relationship with Robert Figaro three years ago.
Charles said she wanted to keep her daughter, but she was unable to give her a good life.
“I saw how Robert was with my children. He was loving and kind. He loves to cook and he was with them all the time. So after we broke up I thought Jenice would be better off with him. I sent her to live with him. I never expected something like this to happen to my child. I knew that where I lived was not the best environment for Jenice to grow up.”
Charles recalled that Jenice begged her to stay when she visited in June. She said the child held her and cried. “She was looking around but I didn’t know why. She was so happy when she saw me. But when I was about to leave he hold on and beg me to stay with her. I told her no because her daddy has someone else. I told her I had to go and I will come back and see her.”
Jenice was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital in an ambulance, where she died at around 11.50 p.m last Thursday.
An autopsy performed by Dr. Eslyn McDonald-Burris on Tuesday found that Jenice died from a beating to the head and abdomen.
Investigators believe the child was being abused for months.
SHANA CHARLES AND ROBERT FIGARO