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Angelica Leslie identified
January 22, 2012 permalink
The parents in the Angelica Leslie case have been named as Alfanso and Stephanie Warren, now living in Jamaica. The names were disclosed after a dead baby was found in a suitcase in their home. In the earlier case a baby was found abandoned in a Toronto parking garage and later placed for adoption by children's aid.
Body in suitcase linked to Toronto case
The mother and father of a toddler found dead inside a suitcase in Jamaica are also the parents of Baby Angelica, the baby who was found abandoned on a frigid stairwell in Toronto in 2008, according to police.
Stephanie Warren, 34, and her husband Alfanso Warren, in his 30s, are in custody in Jamaica after police found the decomposing body of their 2-year-old son, Jeshurun, in a suitcase Sunday.
Both have been living in Kingston, Jamaica, since 2009 — shortly after they were found guilty in the abandonment of the infant who became known as Baby Angelica.
Police in Toronto made contact with Jamaican police to apprise them of the link between the two cases.
“We wanted to ensure that the Jamaican police knew of the previous behaviour,” Det. Keith Moxley told the Star.
“We did this even for the purpose of a bail hearing, so they would say, ‘This is not a first-time offence.’ These people knew better.”
The couple was arrested earlier this week after neighbours in Jamaica called police to report that they hadn’t seen the boy for over two months. Neighbours entered the couple’s house and began mobbing the father, according to a police statement.
Upon entering the home, police made the grisly discovery of the toddler’s decomposing body in a suitcase.
According to Jamaican media, the body was partially mummified, and dead maggots were found at the scene.
There are also reports that Stephanie Warren claimed the child died after eating ackee fruit for dinner, but the cause of death is still unknown. A pathologist has determined the toddler was not the victim of foul play, Delroy Hewitt, of the St. Andrew South police, told the Star.
The parents could face charges relating to concealing a body and also breaching the Child Care Protection Act.
When asked why Jeshurun’s parents would have kept his body in a suitcase for several months, police said Warren claimed “religion.”
In April 2009, the couple pleaded guilty to abandoning the child dubbed “Baby Angelica,” but did not receive jail time.
The father, who pleaded guilty to abandoning a child and three counts of failing to provide the necessities of life, was sentenced to time served.
The child’s mother was found guilty under the Ontario Child and Family Services Act, provincial legislation that protects children from mistreatment by their parents.
She was ordered to pay a $300 fine.
Baby Angelica was abandoned in a frigid stairwell in a North York plaza parking lot near Leslie St. and Finch Ave. E. on Jan. 30, 2008. The infant, believed to be eight months at the time, was discovered face down and bleeding.
Soon after, police posted a surveillance video from the adjacent shopping plaza on Facebook and YouTube.
It showed a person pulling up to the stairwell in a green Ford Escort and depositing the baby.
Police had a massive investigation on their hands, with 2,000 vehicles matching the suspect vehicle. Three months later, police tracked the couple down and used DNA to confirm their relation.
Three of the couple’s other children were removed from the home at the time of the arrests.
Children’s Aid workers later said those three children — all under 5 at the time — appeared malnourished and developmentally delayed when they were taken into custody.
A Toronto police source said the parents were feeding their children a diet of beans with little regard for other vitamin sources.
The parents lost custody of the three children, and Baby Angelica has been adopted.
Source: Toronto Star
Addendum: A later news report says the couple fled Canada to escape from the children's aid society.
Couple left Canada for Jamaica to keep baby
A former Toronto couple now sitting in a Jamaican prison after the body of their toddler was found stuffed in a suitcase only left Canada to avoid having the child taken away like their other kids were, says the boy’s godmother.
Patricia Smith-Bell, who was named the tyke’s godmother after Alphonso and Stephanie Warren brought their son, Joshua, into the world after moving to Jamaica in 2009, told the Toronto Sun that Alphonso was open about the couple’s four other kids being taken from them by child services while they were living in Toronto. Alphonso swore he would never return to Canada for that reason.
“He moved to Jamaica so the government wouldn’t take any more of his kids,” said Smith-Bell. She added that Alphonso, a Jamaican national, refused to give anyone on the Caribbean island a reason as to why the kids were taken.
The Warrens were arrested in 2008 and convicted of child abandonment after Alphonso left their 8-month-old daughter in the freezing stairwell of a north-Toronto building in January of that year. During the couple’s arrest, their three other kids - aged 4, 3 and 2 - were taken by child services.
Sources have told the Sun that Stephanie had also lost two other kids from a previous relationship either before or around the time she and Alphonso were arrested.
“(Alphonso) just came back home ... so nobody would take away Joshua,” said Namesha Clarke, who, along with Smith-Bell, led a community raid on the Warren’s home on January 15 after the boy went missing.
Joshua’s decomposing body was found crammed in a suitcase.
Det. Keith Moxley of Toronto police led the investigation into the 2008 abandonment of the 8-month-old. Moxley said early last week that the couple’s three other kids that were seized in the course of the investigation had “scaring on their skin” and had suffered abuse akin to “corporal punishment,”
Stephanie Warren told a media outlet from her jail cell on Thursday that, when it came to raising their children, neither she nor her husband did anything wrong, calling child protection services in Canada “corrupt.”
“If something happens with one child, they take all your children away,” she said, admitting that while she and Alphonso had hit their kids with a belt, they were devoutly religious and “follow the Holy Bible, the King James Bible, (and) no other book.”
Source: Toronto Sun