Parents’ Agony after Baby Chokes to Death as “Househelp Watches TV”

January 8, 2019
Ms Wendy Audrey speaks about the death of her child, during an interview at her home in Nakuru on January 5, 2019. Courtesy/NMG

The parents of an infant who died while in the care of their house-help at St Mary’s Estate in Nakuru Town are inconsolable as they try to come to terms with the tragic loss.

Mr Steve Opar and his wife Wendy Audrey had left their son in the care of the 23-year-old house-help on December 14, last year.

The Nation reports that Mr Opar, a lawyer, was in Nyahururu, Laikipia County, when he received the dreaded call from a neighbour at around 5 pm.

“The caller told me that my son was dying after choking on food.” Confused and shaken to the core, he asked the neighbour to rush the child to the War Memorial Hospital, as he sped back to Nakuru.

“Since he was my only child, Baby Jayden [Blessing] meant everything to me. As I drove back, I called my wife and told her to also rush to the hospital,” he said.

On arriving at the hospital, Mrs Opar was told her baby had been pronounced dead on arrival.

“I did not even get to celebrate his first birthday, which was in a month’s time. It was the most painful moment of my life,” she said.

When they returned home, they found that the househelp was missing, raising suspicion about her role in their child’s death.

Ms Naomi Wambui, the neighbour who had alerted Mr Opar, said she found the house help watching television after she was told by Mr Opar’s 16-year-old brother that the child was in a serious condition.

“I rushed into the house and found the house help watching television. When I asked her where the child was, she gestured towards the bedroom. I was shocked to find the child lying on the bed on his back before I called his parents,” she said.

Mrs Opar tearfully recalled that she became suspicious of the house help when Baby Jaden started crying whenever she carried him. She noted that she had been looking for a replacement.

“I started feeling uncomfortable with the stories that she used to tell. She once told us that her friend in Nairobi had left her employer’s child in a refrigerator when she disagreed with him,” she recalled.

The baby was buried on December 18.

Investigations have been launched by police after the Opars reported the matter to Teacher’s Police Post in Nakuru Town.

Mr Opar has appealed for information on the whereabouts of the house girl who hails from Oyugis in Homabay County. They had hired her about two months earlier.

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