A nine-year-old boy died yesterday in what police believe was a necromancy (obeah) ritual.
Abeomi Jeremiah, a pupil of the Tunapuna Boys’ Roman Catholic Primary School, was found motionless in a bedroom, with candle wax on his eyes, face and ears. Necromancy is a type of sorcery used to communicate with the dead.
Police reports are that around 11.30 p.m., Jeremiah’s mother, Ingrid Francis, smelt smoke coming from a bedroom in the family’s home. Jeremiah lived in Alexander Street, Longdenville, Chaguanas, a few minutes away from the Longdenville Police Station. When Francis checked the bedroom, she found Jeremiah’s 12-year-old sister with her hair on fire.
A wardrobe containing clothes had also been ignited. Francis quickly extinguished the fire and went to check on Jeremiah, who seemed to be asleep on a bed in the same room. He was unresponsive.
He was rushed to the Chaguanas District Health Facility where he was pronounced dead on arrival. His body bore no marks of violence or burns.
Police said: “It is troubling what could have caused the boy’s death.” They have been questioning a teenage relative who was seen clutching a lit candle and acting “strangely”, police said.
A book on rituals was also found in the room.The relative was being visited by a psychiatrist, they said. When the Sunday Express visited the area, people at the house where the incident occurred directed the newspaper to another area.
However, another resident then redirected the Sunday Express to the house, and the newspaper again approached the same people requesting information.
A man, who did not want to be identified, then said: “You could ask how many questions you want, you are not going to get any information here.”
Other residents in the area were also unwilling to divulge much information. One said a wardrobe in the house caught on fire. Others said they were not aware a child had died in their area. Another man said he was told by a relative Jeremiah died of heart problems.
An autopsy is expected to be conducted tomorrow at the Forensic Science Centre in Federation Park to determine the cause of death.
A party of officers from the Longdenville Police Station and Chaguanas CID visited the home. Police officers from the Homicide Bureau Southern Division, led by Sergeant Susan John, are also involved in the case.
(story first reported in Trinidad Express)