Mystery grows around UWI student’s sudden death

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Khadeeja Taylor –

A process that was supposed to provide clarity on the death of a Pleasantville girl has now raised more questions.

Khadeeja Taylor, 22, died on Thursday morning after suffering for two weeks from what her mother believes was demonic possession.

Documents provided to Newsday by her mother  showed she died from hypovolaemic shock (caused by severe blood loss) from an upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage (bleeding commonly caused by ulcers) and a clinical psychiatric disorder. This is based on an autopsy done at the San Fernando General Hospital on Friday.

However, a well-placed senior police source questioned how a pathologist would be able to determine a psychological cause of death from a physical examination and why it would be listed on the certificate.

A physician with experience in hospitals told Newsday a psychiatric issue is a “diagnosis of exclusion” which would have likely been made in the absence of any physical explanations for the behaviour in the autopsy, like abnormalities, such as a tumour, in the brain.

However, the source said it was unusual for the psychiatric disorder to be included in the death certificate of someone who had not previously been diagnosed with the condition.

Taylor died at the Siparia Health Facility on Thursday morning after she and her mother, Jennifer Sandy-Thomas, spent almost a week with a Siparia spiritual healer who was treating her for a demonic possession they believed had been inflicted on her by someone with ill intent.

Sandy-Thomas told Newsday later that day that her daughter had displayed unusual behaviour. It included attacking relatives, pulling her hair out, claiming to be the devil while speaking in unrecognisable languages, banging her head on the ground and cursing relatives.

On Thursday, Sandy-Thomas told Newsday she believed there was no medical diagnosis that could explain the behaviour she witnessed – especially from her daughter, who, she said, had never behaved that way before.

“I can’t see somebody going by somebody who don’t know somebody, and saying, ‘I want to do this child that, because I jealous and I want her brain and I want her looks.’

“It’s like they sacrifice my child.

“It (that kind of thing) going on. And don’t tell me it ain’t going on and them thing is medical. Everything is not medical.

“Everything can’t be just written away, ‘Oh, it’s this, it’s that.’ It’s spiritual: people going by evil people to do people evil things,” she said.

The police source said the autopsy results did not reveal anything that pointed towards murder.

However, they said a full investigation would be done to see if any liability could be assigned for Taylor’s death.

The source said the South Western Division would do the investigation with oversight from the Homicide Bureau.