The cousin of 17-year-old murder victim Christopher Cummings is calling on social workers to do more for young boys without fathers.
Speaking to Guardian Media at the Forensic Sciences Centre, St James, yesterday, Patsy Nathan-Bansfield said the Government and social workers have to step up their game to intervene in cases where young boys are fatherless.
Cummings’ body was found beneath several sheets of galvanise roofing in a clearing near his Achong Trace, Tunapuna home on Tuesday. He was last seen around 8.30 pm on March 5 and was reported missing to police on Monday night by his older brother. His body was found by CEPEP workers doing beautification work in the area. He was shot several times.
Yesterday, Nathan-Bansfield made a plea to citizens to raise their children better.
“I am talking to the people of T&T, we have to groom our children. I am asking the social workers, the Ministry of National Security, come and visit our communities, don’t stay in your air-conditioned office and just take notes and walk away, we need help,” Nathan-Bansfield said.
She said there have been social workers who have tried to assist vulnerable youths in the past but not enough is being done.
Nathan-Bansfield noted that there was a pattern of criminal elements preying on young boys from single-parent families. However, she denied suggestions on social media that Cummings was involved in any criminal activity.
“I know he was missing his father but even though he was missing his father, he didn’t go that road and it has a lot of people out there are seeing these single mothers and these lonely children and taking them and taking advantage of them.”
She described Cummings as a loving child who did not deserve the gruesome end he came to.
“My cousin being here this morning, I hope it could change the youth life because he didn’t deserve it…we need to put the guns down and the churches need to come out and help us,” she said.
Nathan-Bansfield said Cummings was his mother’s fourth child but the first for his father, who died two years ago.
“We used to give his father fatigue about when he giving us a baby to play with and when Christopher was born, his father was so proud to have him and he groomed him to be a gentleman.”