Funeral Held For Boy Stuffed In Suitcase

WJZ News, Baltimore/January 9, 2009

A 15-month-old Baltimore boy found starved and stuffed in a suitcase was buried Friday.

Suzanne Collins reports five alleged cult members charged with his murder go on trial this month.

Inside a little, white, satin coffin are the remains of Javon Newton who was buried Friday. He is the 15-month-old police say was denied food and water until he died.

His grandmother tried to get the boy back when his mother joined a cult, but before she could rescue him, he died.

"It's senseless, and I will never understand why. This was a little baby; he did not deserve this," said Seeta Newton, victim's grandmother.

Police say the mother Ria Ramkissoon moved in with a cult in east Baltimore.

Witnesses tell police it was headed by Queen Antoinette who came to believe the boy was a demon.

Court documents say the baby couldn't say amen at the table, so he wasn't fed and was beaten. Antoinette, the mother and three other alleged cult members face murder charges.

"I'm happy we finally have him put to rest, but I won't feel satisfied until she gets what's coming to her," said Colleen Khadan, victim's relative.

The child's grandmother tried for over a year to get the child back and prodded police to investigate. It was learned "One Minded Ministries" left Baltimore after Javon died. His body was discovered in the spring in a suitcase hidden in a shed in Philadelphia.

"This is a little baby. How can you do that to a 15-month-old," said Newton.

Friday the child found a better resting place and was sent off with love and prayers.

The minister says those who hard children will not have any peace.

Two of the murder defendants don't yet have lawyers even though the trial is just three weeks away. Queen Antoinette told a judge she is represented but refused to give him a name.

"I hope they don't let this woman out. Off on some stupid excuse that she might be insane," said Newton.

The child's mother is being given a mental evaluation by the court.

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