Mother of starved child says she was told not to feed him, believes he will be resurrected
Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 25, 2010
BALTIMORE (AP) — For more than a week, Ria Ramkissoon watched passively as her 1-year-old son wasted away, denied food and water because the older woman she lived with said it was God’s will.
Javon Thompson was possessed by an evil spirit, Ramkissoon was told, because he didn’t say “Amen” during a mealtime prayer. Javon didn’t talk much, given his age, but he had said “Amen” before, Ramkissoon testified.
On the day Javon died, Ramkissoon was told to “nurture him back to life.” She mashed up some carrots and tried to feed the boy, but he was no longer able to swallow. Ramkissoon put her hands on his chest to confirm that his heart had stopped beating.
Ramkissoon and several other people knelt down and prayed that he would rise from the dead. For weeks afterward, Ramkissoon spent much of her time in a room with her son’s emaciated body — talking to him, dancing, even giving him water. She thought she could bring him back.
Ramkissoon told the tale of her son’s excruciating death from the witness stand Wednesday, at the trial of the woman she says told her not to feed the boy. Queen Antoinette was the leader of a small religious cult, according to police and prosecutors, and she faces murder charges alongside her daughter, Trevia Williams, and another follower, Marcus A. Cobbs.