Jenice Ruth Figaro
  June 2012 - November 24, 2016

In November of 2016, an autopsy was necessary to confirm the cause of the death of a beautiful, four year old, little girl. Police had been told that the child died after eating a meal that consisted of french fries, however, they would soon learn a different truth about this Angels death. Dr Eslyn Burris McDonald, a Forensic Pathologist discovered that Jenice Ruth Figaro had been beaten to death, he cause of death was listed as blunt force trauma to her head and abdomen.

Robert Figaro, the father of Jenice was speaking with Police when the results were revealed and when reporters contacted him, he declined to speak with them:

"Right now I am having a conversation with the police and I cannot
speak right now"

Robert told Police that he had left his daughter in the care of his girlfriend on the night that she died. Also in the home that night were the children of the his girlfriend ages five and eight, they all lived in the home together. Police reports say that about 8:30pm on the that Thursday night, Jenice was eating dinner with the other members of the household when she started to complain that her stomach was hurting and she ended up wetting her pants. The girlfrien says she cleaned her up and put her to bed though she was still complaining of a stomach ache. An ambulance was called, the female claims that it was because Jenice's pain would not stop.

The ambulance arrived to find Jenice was not breathing, she was transported to San Fernando General Hospital where upon arrival, she was pronounced dead. Jenice's body was transported to the Forensic Science Center when they saw what looked like bruises and possible marks that showed she had been beaten. The woman living in the home says she is innocent and she moved out the home that very night claiming she had nothing to do with what happened to Jenice.

Robert wanted to believe the relative, however, marks on is daughter in the past made it hard. Jenice had suffered a busted lip, a fractured wrist and burn on her stomach. These marks had been seen by Police, though nothing ever came of it. Homicide Officers were searching for the female relative who had disappeared.

Robert said he felt like disappearing and he apologized to Jenice for not recognizing that she had been being abused by a family member who had moved into their home about a year before the death of his daughter. Robert said that he saw signs in the form of bruises but someone was able to convince him that Jenice was accident prone and was falling down a lot, causing her own injuries in the process. Thinking back, Robert came to understand that his daughter was being abused for months:

"I am still in disbelief. I never thought anyone had that kind of malice
for my daughter. When that woman came here with her kids, I treated
them like my own children. I am a casual worker so whenever I get work
I would go because I wanted to provide for my family"

Robert said he noticed bruising on Jenice and when he asked his girlfriend about the bruising she would always say she fell or that she was injured by accident on her own. Robert would take Jenice aside and ask her and she would always confirm that she had fallen and the child would always say that same thing over and over when asked. Robert now says that he believes Jenice was being threatened to keep quiet about the abuse she was suffering. Just two months prior to her death, Jenice had a broken arm when Robert got home from work and was told she fell while playing on his exercise equipment:

"I called Jenice and asked her and she said the same thing, so I believed
her. Now I think she was afraid to talk"

Robert said that when Jenice was only ten months old, her mother had left them and he had to change his entire life style to raise the child, she was his anchor and everything in the world to him. Robert was feeling empty and angry:

"I feel like disappearing. The only thing that is keeping me from doing
something to myself is the fact that I would not see my child again. I
have not been in the house since she died. I can't go there. I am staying
with my parents. I never make joke with my child. When I was not working
she was always in my sight. She make me turn my life around"

Robert had been told that Jenice ate the fries and then had a seizure and was unconscious, Jenice died at about 11:50pm that same night. Robert said:

"I was hugging my daughter and grieving for her when my girlfriend called
me. She said she pack up her things and was going by her mother. I was
a little suspicious when she said that"

Investigators showed up the next day to his home and started their investigation. At that time, investigators were unable to come to a conclusion as there had not yet been an autopsy performed. Robert told police how to find his girlfriend:

"I gave Police all the information about the woman, where she
would be staying and everything. I called them this morning and
she has not yet been arrested. I hope the Police do their job and
arrest the person who killed my child"

Police said they expected to have a suspect in custody soon. Jenice was laid to rest in the Whiteland Public Cemetery.

In December of 2016, Shana Charles, the biological mother of Jenice was asking that she not be judged and spoke, in tears, about the last time she had hugged her daughter. Shana said she hugged her tight and told her that she would be back soon, that had taken place on Jenice's birthday in June. Shana said that the next time she saw her daughter was in the morgue:

"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"

Shana said she wanted to see Jenice and had called her often to talk on the phone:

"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"

Living less than a mile away, Shana said that her relationship with Robert ended when Jenice was almost a year old and she was unemployed and had three other children from a previous relationship. Shana knew she could not give Jenice a good life:

"I saw how Robert was with my children. He was loving and kind. He loves
to cook and hew as 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"

Shana and Robert

Shana said that when she had visited in June, Jenice had begged her to stay, holding on to her and crying:

"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, she hold on and beg me to stay with
her. I told her no because her daddy was with someone else. I told her I had
to go and I will come back and see her"

Shana said that she had never heard anything bad about Robert's girlfriend and was of the belief that they were one big, happy family and she had appealed to Police to arrest the woman who had killed her child.

At her funeral service, which took place at Robert's parents house, an Uncle of Jenice spoke and said that no stone would be left unturned until justice was served for what was done to his niece. James spoke of how Jenice would play fondly with his head:

"Jenice's life was sniffed away in a barbaric manner. She was loved by
everyone in the community. My heart goes out to that innocent child. Why
is it that child have to go through such a traumatic death. No stone will go
unturned, nothing will be swept under the carpet, justice will prevail. We
will live to see justice prevail"

Jenice's teacher, Indira Gunness-Nagessar said she was vigorous, energetic, brave and loving and that she had loved to draw and write. Kimberly, her Aunt, said that Robert and Jenice had been very close:

"Wherever you saw Robert, you saw Jenice"

Robert remained inside the home, overcome with grief, during most of the service, though he came out to view Jenice's body at the end of the service, breaking down in tears. A female relative became so enraged with Shana that she screamed at her demanding to know:

"Where were you"

Shana had been sitting next to her daughters casket throughout the entire service. The service was officiated by Reverand Deea Ramnarine.

The ex-girlfriend of Robert was arrested in December of 2016 though she was eventually released as the Police needed to further investigate. Robert said he has lost all faith in the system:

"I've lost it. I don't know what to think, to do anymore"

Robert had been happy when he learned that Police had picked up his ex-girlfriend and that finally Jenice was going to get justice. When he heard they had let her go, Robert broke down, sobbing:

"But when they told me they released her the next day, Friday, I broke down.
They say they need more information"

Robert said that after one month of investigations, he was under the impression that Police had a solid case against the woman, he was disappointed by their letting her go.

As of today, I am unable to find if anyone had been arrested for the murder of this little Angel.

Thank you to DeeDee for sending me this story.

This page was created on January 7, 2017

Death occurred Trinidad and Tobago

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