A reward of $25,000 has been offered for information that leads to the capture of the people responsible for the murders of two-year-old Aniah Jaggernauth and her father, Stefon McLeod.
Newspaper advertisements published on Friday, on the very day the funeral of the father and daughter was held, appealed for informants to call 800-TIPS (8577) or submit information anonymously via www.crimestopperstt.com.
The reward was first announced on Thursday by Police Commissioner Gary Griffith during a T&T Police Service (TTPS) media briefing. He has had a lot to say about the murder of Aniah, criticizing the lack of public outrage and using the opportunity to hit back at critics of the TTPS.
Commissioner Griffith’s angry declarations aside, there have been many expressions of grief and rage and even one misguided protest in Port-of-Spain, combined with sufficient social media outpouring to ensure that Aniah and the cold-blooded way in which her short life ended, remains in the public sphere.
The hope is that there is enough thirst for justice to be done in her case to bring about the capture and conviction of the gunmen who pumped bullets into her tiny body.
There is no price that can be put on Aniah’s life or all the other lives that have ended in a brutal and untimely manner, all of them victims of the gang-related gun violence that continues almost without pause.
Friday also marked another tragic milestone for little Aniah and her father, Stephon. It marked one week since their killers ambushed them in a car and riddled their bodies with bullets. A week that ended with the arrest of a suspect.
This means that there is, at least, hope for some closure for all the people that love them and endured the unbearable pain of looking at them one last time before they were buried together in a single casket.
Little Aniah only lived 19 days past her second birthday. When she was laid to rest at the Tunapuna Public Cemetery following a very emotional public viewing at her home and a service at a nearby church, what was put into the ground was not only her mortal remains but all of the possibilities and promise that would have been revealed as she grew.
It is impossible to quantify what was lost by her family and community. The one thing that is certain is that it is well beyond the $25,000 reward offered for help in solving her case
The demand for justice to be done in this matter cannot be quelled a single arrest. A demand must be made of the TTPS and every national security agency and law enforcement officer to turn the tide against the criminals who have taken more than 222 lives in just the first six months of the year.
While Commissioner Griffith rails against the lack of public outrage over Aniah’s murder, there should also be outrage throughout the ranks in the TTPS, enough outrage to ensure that this does not become another unsolved crime.
The nation waits for justice to be done.