Khadeeja Taylor PHOTO COURTESY JENNIFER SANDY-TAYLOR –
As the world gets ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, 22-year-old UWI student Khadeeja Taylor died on Thursday morning after what her mother firmly believes was a demonic possession.
Sitting with Newsday outside her home at Ibis Drive, Pleasantville, as incense burnt inside on Thursday afternoon, Taylor’s mother Jennifer Sandy-Taylor, 52, said there was nothing modern medicine could explain about what happened to her daughter.
She recounted a week-long ordeal which included Taylor attacking relatives, pulling her hair out and claiming to be the devil while speaking in unrecognisable languages.
“They could say what they want. That is not medical. When I watch my child, I seeing the devil in that child. The child mouth smelling stink from inside of there.”
Describing her daughter as an angel, the single mother said there was no doubt in her mind that a demon had possessed her through someone’s ill will.
She said Taylor was staying with her employer, an older woman, at her St James home when two weeks ago she began showing symptoms of being possessed. Taylor worked at a food establishment.
Sandy-Taylor said she was immediately told of this.
Sandy-Taylor said she first recognised something was wrong when she picked up Taylor in Curepe on December 11, after she complained about having trouble eating and sleeping.
On the way home, she said Taylor covered her eyes with her hands for the entire journey home.
She said Taylor did not listen to her younger sister when she said they had arrived home, but insisted her mother be the one to tell her.
Sandy-Taylor said her daughter got out of the car and went directly to her plants, picking a Wonder of the World leaf and making tea.
“She there the whole day and she talking and crying and just talking to herself and mumbling whatever and praying and thing…Whole day this going on.”
She said at around 1.30 am the following morning, she woke up to Taylor opening her bedroom door, and Taylor attacked her when her behaviour was questioned.
“My stepdaughter came in, my son come up and thing and we had to hold her down. I call my sister. I say, ‘Girl, come. Something with your niece.’
“My sister came, carried her somewhere, brought her back again, (and) she still going on.
“We bathe her…and she calm down a little bit. Then, after, she start again.
“Fight. We fight, fight, fight. I fighting to hold her and she bite my breast. She fight, she fight, she fight.
“I telling my son, ‘This is too much for us.’ I say let us get something and try and restrain her.”
Sandy-Taylor showed Newsday dozens of scars on her forearm that she said were from the attacks.
She said her daughter would become almost unrecognisable during her many violent spells.
“I ain’t telling you about all the different languages she talking…this, that, I don’t know. But she talking all different languages and saying she is the devil and doing devil signs and all kind of thing.”
She added Taylor would even pull out her own hair and showed immense strength, especially for her size.
“She start to pull out the hair. Like pull it out from the root. And she say she want to kill herself and she slamming her head and we had to put cushion under the head. She slamming her head on the ground. Badang. Badang. Lord fadda, I frighten!”
Sandy-Taylor said her daughter was never usually disrespectful to her, but when she was possessed, would hurl obscenities at her.
“She saying, ‘Jennifer, who the f— is you, Jennifer? Who the f— you feel you is?’…
“And she start to manifest and talk about the mount (St Benedict, which Taylor visited a few days earlier with her employer, to pray there) and said, ‘You so stupid. You gone and you touch the cross.’”
Sandy-Taylor said her family took Taylor to a Hindu pundit on Tuesday and her told them someone had “placed something” on her to “remove her five senses.”
Unable to treat her, Sandy-Taylor said they took Taylor to a spiritual healer in Siparia ,where they both stayed until Thursday morning. She said, the healer bathed Taylor and prayed over her, but while she would often show signs of improvement, they did not last.
“When she ready, she good…and then afterwards, this thing just start to take her over and she saying, ‘Oh God,’ her body on fire. When you feel the child body, the body on fire.”
Sandy-Taylor said as she slept next to her daughter on Wednesday night, she woke up when she realised Taylor’s breathing had changed and felt laboured.
That’s when she took her to the Siparia Health Facility where she was pronounced dead at 2.25 am.
Doctors told police apart from coming into the facility with foam around her mouth, Taylor also had minor abrasions to her forehead, hands, feet and belly.
Sandy-Taylor said her daughter acted in that erratic way for the first time during the ordeal, but was usually a well-behaved and academically successful girl.
“She was a beautiful, beautiful soul…it ain’t have nothing people could say bad about this child. This child was like a gift I get. This child, from small, go to school, kindergarten, (at) the primary school she was valedictorian… When she go secondary school, same thing. First in test.”
Sandy-Taylor said her daughter did not have many friends and did not party or take drugs.
Although the autopsy is scheduled for Friday, Sandy-Taylor is adamant there isn’t any other explanation for what happened to her daughter.
“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 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 family was struggling to come to terms with the entire ordeal. She said her daughter was well-loved by everyone.
Senior police sources told Newsday the case was being investigated at the divisional level with oversight from the Homicide Bureau of Investigations, pending the results of the autopsy.
The source said if the cause of death was determined to be unnatural causes, it would be treated as a homicide. If, however, it was found to be otherwise, it will remain with the division.
A police report said Taylor’s body had been taken from the health facility and sent to the San Fernando General Hospital mortuary.