The boy drowns; caregiver accused of negligence

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NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) – A 41-year-old woman is due to reappear in court Nov. 14 after securing $7,000 bond for alleged negligence in the drowning of an 11-year-old boy whose body, clothed only in an undergarment, was found in a pond near Oakes Field Sports Center Golf Academy earlier this month.

Stephanie Hanna pleaded not guilty to the charges when she appeared before Deputy Chief Magistrate Subusola Swain on two counts of child cruelty in connection with the August 1 drowning of Gerodo Atwill Taylor Jr.

Hanna is accused of neglecting the boy while he was in her care and custody. She is further accused of having allowed Taylor Jr to be in the yard of a body of water, which was not sufficiently guarded, resulting in the death of the child by drowning.

When the body was found, police said they believed the child had been there for at least 24 hours.

Police press liaison officer Chief Superintendent Chrislyn Skippings told reporters shortly after the discovery that she wanted to “send a strong message to parents that you need to know where your children are”.

“You need to make sure your children are with a responsible adult at all times,” Skippings said, adding that police have a zero-tolerance approach to child neglect.

“If our investigation reveals that [in] that particular incident that there was some form of child neglect, you will see the parent(s) being charged in connection with that case. We have a zero tolerance approach when it comes to our beloved children. Children are our future and we are supposed to look after these children,” she added.

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