MONTEGO BAY, St James — Trevor Spence admits that life has been tough since the body of his seven-year-old grandson Aiden Rose was found in bushes behind his family home in Bickersteth, St James, on May 31.
Aiden, a grade one student of Bickersteth Primary School, was said to have been found with what appeared to be a number of wounds, mainly to the head. It was reported that he was bleeding from the nose and mouth.
The boy's mother, Queen-Ann Spence, was later slapped with child neglect charges in connection with the case after the police launched a murder investigation into the matter on the same day.
Aiden was reportedly last seen alive by relatives two days before his body was found. It is said that he had been living with his stepfather and his stepfather's mother in the community of Cambridge, but had visited Bickersteth for a routine visit that weekend because of his sister's birthday celebration.
In his first interview since the devastating week of his grandson's death, Spence told the Jamaica Observer that the family has not been coping well, especially after learning that the child's post-mortem examination came back inconclusive.
As a result, a toxicology test was ordered to determine Aiden's cause of death.
"It has not been great. We are just trying to deal with it until we find out what is going on. They said that we have to wait on the lab results to determine his cause of death because he didn't have any scratch, cut or bruise on his body. He did not even have any broken bones," said Spence.
The initial report of wounds being identified on the child's body are believed to have been caused by an advanced stage of decomposition, the grandfather explained.
"They said the cut in his head came from decomposition. He didn't have any bruises on him, no evidence of strangulation, so we are just waiting on the lab results," he said.
With the family laying the young boy to rest on July 23 and Queen-Ann being out on bail, Spence said he is just patiently waiting for closure into the death of the child with whom he had shared a "beautiful relationship".
Spence, who had to hurry back to Jamaica from the United Kingdom when he received the tragic news, told the Sunday Observer that he has refrained from speaking to his daughter about the incident.
"She is mostly by herself, so I haven't really spoken to her about it as yet. She is just in a world by herself, so I am giving her some time to come around and then I'll find out what is going," said Spence.
"I also rather to wait on the lab results than to talk to her about it. I got the wrong impression at first… they gave me wrong information, then I came home and saw something different. So I just want to wait on the facts before asking any more questions," he said.
Pointing out that speculation into the matter started as soon as news broke of the child's body being found, Spence admitted that, he, too, had assumed wrongfully. This, he told the Sunday Observer, is still affecting him.
"His death has had a major effect on me and my relationship right now because sometimes mi just space out and rather to just be by myself. I don't like when my [girlfriend] stresses out, but sometimes mi just sit down and don't talk to anybody," Spence explained.
"This is just my way of dealing with it. I just don't want to assume anything or accuse anyone, so I'd rather wait for the facts," Spence said.
As he eagerly awaits the results of the toxicology test, Spence is doing his best to keep his family together while they mourn.
"They made it seem as if she chopped or stabbed him up and when I came he had no broken bones or injuries, so I think it is best if I just wait. We still have a relationship. it is not that I chastised her; I just haven't spoken to her about the situation. We want to know what the lab result says, so we can deal with it," said the man.
Senior superintendent of police in charge of the St James Police Carlos Russell told the Sunday Observer that Queen-Ann has not been charged in relation to the matter, and the police, too, are awaiting the toxicology test result.
"The mother was offered bail on the charge of child neglect. She has not been charged for murder. The post-mortem result was inconclusive hence a toxicology report was ordered. We are still awaiting that report," said Russell.