Dad in tears over drowned son, 2

Fiji Sun - - NORTH NEWS - SHRATIKA NAIDU Edited by Jonathan Bryce Feed­back: shratikan@fi­

Afa­ther in Vu­nika, Labasa, is still com­ing to terms with the fact that his two-year-old son is dead. Taito Koli said the last time he saw his son, Mikaele Naduva, was on Mon­day morn­ing. The fa­ther of two said his wife and son planned to at­tend a birth­day party at Nakama Vil­lage in Labasa.

“I left for work at Courts Lim­ited, wish­ing them well. I re­ceived the news from my rel­a­tives that my son was found float­ing in Nakama River in the af­ter­noon,” Mr Koli said. He said Mikaele was with his aunt and grand­mother in Nakama Vil­lage around midday be­fore he sud­denly dis­ap­peared. “Ev­ery­one was look­ing for him,” the 27-year-old said.

“It was un­til around 5pm at the river some shouted say­ing that they saw a dead body of a child. No one knows how my son got to the river.”

He said the post mortem ex­am­i­na­tion was done on Wed­nes­day and ac­cord­ing to its find­ings, Mikaele died from drown­ing. “To­day I buried my son at Va­turekuka in Labasa,” the teary-eyed fa­ther said.

“I never thought to see this day as a fa­ther. He was full of fun and joy, al­ways look­ing for­ward to try­ing some­thing new.”

Mikaele was the younger of two sib­lings. Po­lice spokesper­son Ana Naisoro con­firmed the child was with his grand­mother be­fore he dis­ap­peared and was found by a teacher who saw the child float­ing in the Nakama River.

She said the na­tional drown­ing death toll stands at 11 com­pared to 12 for the same pe­riod last year.

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