Aniah Jaggernauth brought together a family and inspired them to become better.
Her death saw a community gather to mourn at the Church of God Deliverance Centre in Tunapuna yesterday.
Music from US artistes – P Diddy’s ‘Missing You’, Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See You Again’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Gone Too Soon’ – was played from a truck as mourners viewed little Aniah being held in father Stefon Mcleod’s arms in their shared casket.
The early viewing in the yard of their home, mere metres from where they had been fatally shot a week earlier.
That viewing, it was hoped, would reduce crowding in the church as they sought to maintain social distancing during the funeral service, but when the coffin was brought into the church, the crowds converged there as well.
Aniah’s mother Melinda Jaggernauth’s distress was more than apparent as she had to be helped to a seat in the church.
United National Congress candidate for Tunapuna, David Nahkid was a member of the congregation but his attendance was met with great indifference.
In her eulogy, Aniah’s Aunt Jameela Jaggernauth said her birth had changed her family.
“Aniah was the bestest thing that ever happened to my sister, she was the pride and joy of our family, she motivated a lot of us, always had us on our feet, her memory will forever live on and we will always love her. She left her footprint on everyone in and around the family,” said Jaggernaught, who admitted that the child’s birth even made her put aside her differences with Mcleod, who at one point she had not spoken to for two years.
“Stefon, you’re my brother in law but for some reason I couldn’t stand him but you know that’s how life is. When I found out my sister was pregnant and I started acknowledging the fact that he will always be a part of the family, so I say let me work on myself and be a good sister in law,” she said. In turn she said McLeod always made sure we was well fed and taken care of when she came to visit her niece.
The music truck would return to service following the funeral ceremony as Jamaican reggae artiste Buju Banton’s “I Wanna Be Loved” accompanied those who ventured to the Tunapuna Public cemetery for the burial of the father and daughter.
Mcleod 39, and Aniah 2, died at hospital after being shot near their Tunapuna home last Friday.
While the funeral took place, police were still interrogating a suspect who had been held on Saturday in connection with the shooting.
Police are offering a $25,000 reward to anyone who could provide further information which leads to the arrest of their killers.