Two-year-old Aliyah Johnson suffered a blow to her belly that was so forceful her liver ruptured, causing her to bleed to death.
Pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov, after performing an autopsy on Aliyah, determined she died as a result of blunt force abdominal trauma and acute internal blood loss.
The pathologist spent almost three hours at the Forensic Science Centre, St James carefully examining the body of the young girl, who died on Easter Sunday, to determine the cause of her death. There was no sign of sexual abuse.
Blood, urine and tissue samples have been taken for further tests including toxicology.
Police reported, at about 7.45 pm on Sunday, they received a report by staff at the Siparia District Health Facility that an unresponsive two-year-old child had been brought to the hospital, bearing marks of violence about her body, and bleeding from her vagina.
Since then, two relatives who were said to be with baby Aliyah when she suffered her injuries at a house along Maria David Trace, Siparia, have been detained at separate police stations.
One of the suspects, a woman, told police that she last saw Aliyah alive on Sunday evening when a male relative took the girl for a bath.
However, it had also been reported that the teenager had told relatives that the girl had fallen off her bed.
With the results of the autopsy at hand, police investigators have informed Newsday that they intend to officially classify the death as a murder and would be approaching the Director of Public Prosecutions, Roger Gaspard SC, in the near future, possibly as early as today.
It was said that statements were expected to be taken from the two relatives in custody late yesterday as well as from baby Aliyah’s aunt Marisa Johnson. However, up to press time it could not be confirmed if the statements had been recorded.
Speaking to Newsday yesterday at the Forensic Science Centre, following the autopsy, a very emotional Marisa Johnson said her family was still in terrible shock over the loss of baby Aliyah and that her father had taken the news the hardest, and was forced to visit his doctor repeatedly this week.
She said she was pleased so far with the work of the police investigators and she was hoping for a “proper outcome” now that the autopsy had been completed.
“According to the findings, Aliyah’s abdomen had been hit, causing her liver to rupture, which in turn caused her to bleed out through her private parts. Thankfully, there were no findings of sexual assault. The report also shows that she had several marks of violence on her skin,” Johnson said.
“Dr Alexandrov said that most likely she was beaten and the marks were a result of the acts of violence. Right now, we simply want justice for this atrocity. The person who did this must be put away,” Johnson said.
Johnson, a mother of four, explained that contrary to various media reports, baby Aliyah was not the result of an unwanted pregnancy, and she was very loved and appreciated by her mother.
“I don’t understand how this information is circulating. It is completely false. Her mother wanted that child so badly. In fact it was I who offered to take the baby from her when we found out she was having a girl, because at the time I had three sons, she was just a teen and I desperately wanted a daughter. But she said no. She was very excited to be a mom and she loved that child with all her heart,” Johnson recalled.
Funeral arrangements are expected to be made today, with the services most likely taking place on Saturday morning.