Gerodo Taylor Sr. said yesterday that when he learned that his son was the boy who drowned in a pond last week, he didn’t want to believe it.
“It was heartbreaking,” Taylor told The Nassau Guardian.
Though his son lived with his estranged wife, Taylor said he loved him and did his best to ensure they spent time together.
Police said Gerodo Taylor Jr., 11, drowned in a pond on the grounds of the Oakes Field Sports Centre Golf Academy in Yellow Elder Gardens last Tuesday.
Police said a group of young boys went swimming in the pond when they made the discovery.
One of the boys told The Nassau Guardian that golfers pay them $2 to retrieve golf balls from the pond.
Gerodo Taylor Jr.’s mother, Stephanie Hanna, was charged on Monday with cruelty to children concerning his death.
Police said Hanna, who pleaded not guilty at her arraignment, didn’t report her son missing until August 4 – two days after he was found.
When the news first broke, police spent two days appealing for relatives of the boy to come forward.
Gerodo Taylor Sr. said he saw the news on TV but didn’t think anything of it because they didn’t call his son’s name.
“When I listened again, then they called his name,” he said.
“I said, ‘What? My son drowned?’ I was shocked.”
He said his sister also told him.
“It was shocking,” he said. “I said, ‘No, it can’t be him.’”
Taylor looked down at the ground for most of the interview. He shook his head at times but rarely looked up.
He said the last time he saw his son was on May 1 at his sister’s birthday party.
“He was quiet,” he said. “He was a quiet, young boy. He was humble. He didn’t bother anyone. He always played on his tablet and stuff like that.”
If he could, Taylor said, he would tell his son, “I love him and I miss him.”
Taylor is also questioning what went wrong.
When asked what he would say to his estranged wife, who he said he has not spoken to in three years, he said, “I just want to know what happened. That’s what I would say to her. As a father, I want to know what happened to my son and why it happened.
“I feel heartbroken, very heartbroken.”
Taylor’s sister, Alimina Taylor, said she loved her nephew.
“He was loving, caring and a humble guy,” she said.
She added, “I hope both sides of the family come together and bury [Gerodo]. We don’t need any you say and I say. We just need to get [Gerodo] buried and move on with life.”