Spanish Lookout Community Mourns Foster Child’s Death
Tonight the Spanish Lookout community has expressed condolences to the biological mother. The community chairman, Harry Letkeman, spoke with Love News and said that this is not the first foster child that the couple had taken into their home.
Harry Letkem, Chairman, Spanish Lookout: “We’re heartbroken. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Baby Iyana’s mom, her parents and family. To the entire country of Belize. We are just truly sorry and heartbroken about it. A little baby, a child is entirely dependent on the adults in its life and for a child to die in the care of foster parents is even – I mean it’s very sad. I don’t have words to express how deeply saddened we are by it and I can’t even imagine what amount of grief the parents or the mother would be enduring having lost custody of the child in the first instance and then now for the child to pass away. There hasn’t been a lot of information circulating. I think everybody is waiting to see what the investigation will reveal. The parents have been in custody and very limited contact has been made with them since they’ve been arrested. And so no I cannot say what happened. I can only guess like you but I can say for sure that the foster parents are well known in the community, they are not in any leadership position but they’re well respected and well known and they have half a dozen of their own biological children. I was made to understand that they have previously fostered, this is not the first time that they had fostered and I understand that there was a younger child also in their care, perhaps the sister to baby Iyana. It’s a perfect storm of disaster is all I can say. It’s just utterly sad.”
As to the degree of support that the Spanish Lookout community is offering to the couple, Letkeman indicated that they will allow justice to prevail, and that they have no plans to intrude on the investigations.
Harry Letkem, Chairman, Spanish Lookout: “If it’s a case where the law intervenes then I do not believe that the community would intervene or get involved because it’s already in the hands of the authorities. As far as if it was something other or something smaller perhaps there would be something the church might do, some form of involvement that the church would do if it was a smaller matter but in this case no the law would run its course and we would support the law in their investigation. As far as the support to the couple so there are other children and so family or members of the community would come in and help with the children that now are also without parents because the parents have been in custody since Friday and yes emotional support would be offered to the parents because regardless how the child died the foster parents would also be very distraught you know this is a very painful experience for them as well. When you put it into context of the biological parents I don’t know that we can really compare it.”
Tonight the foster parents remain in custody pending arraignment. Our newsroom will be following up on this story from the social services perspective.