Black Immigrant Daily News
Jamaican Jellisa Baxter, who is accused of stabbing her three-year-old daughter Arya Smith to death in Florida, USA last week, loved her baby. Her father, Mr Baxter, vouched for that.
“I am not saying that she was right; what she did was wicked, and I condemn it, but the way I know she loves her child, she could not have been in her right mind to do what she did,” he told Loop News in an interview.
The 24-year-old mother is suspected of killing her daughter at their North Miami Beach apartment last week Tuesday before calling the police to report the matter.
Speaking to Loop News, Mr Baxter said he raised his daughter in a Christian home, and no matter what she did, she never strayed far from how she was raised.
He said Jellisa was a good child who did what normal teens did while growing up.
“She doesn’t drink or smoke or anything like that. Since she gone up [migrated to the US], I never hear that she light a cigarette,” he said.
He said he, too, wants to know what happened to cause his daughter to do what she did to his granddaughter.
“She loved her baby. The child meant everything to her. Someone in their right mind couldn’t do that,” he insisted, bemoaning the death of his only grandchild.
Sharing some insight about Jellisa, Mr Baxter said she was struggling financially and with her daughter’s illness.
“My granddaughter was going through some illness; I am not sure if the child was diagnosed, but they suspect that she was autistic,” he told Loop News.
Mr Baxter said he was close to his daughter and spent time with his granddaughter, who was in Jamaica from the beginning of 2022 to June that year when she went back to Florida to her mother.
Jellisa Baxter, 24, is accused of fatally stabbing her young daughter on Dec 27, 2022. (Photo: Miami-Dade Corrections Department)
He said Jellisa said nothing that would have alerted him that she could kill her child.
“Persons who saw a video of her in court are saying that she isn’t showing any remorse, but for her to be remorseful she has to realise what she has done but hasn’t come to her yet,” the father said.
He told Loop News that he is trying as best as possible to cope by staying away from some of the comments on social media while taking comfort in knowing that those who knew her would not make some of the more distasteful comments.
“People who don’t know her and see what she did will say she is wicked, and she is wrong to kill the baby. I condemn it, but something must have gone wrong,” he insisted.
Jellisa is in police custody in Florida. She’s charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse and had her bond denied when she appeared in court last Wednesday.
Jellisa is from Clarendon.
Loop News learnt last week that her mother died in September and that days before the killing of her three-year-old daughter, she was served with an eviction notice from her North Miami Beach apartment.