“Open a murder docket, not an inquest”, a warrant officer said after he saw the injuries on one-year-old Jeremiah Ruiters in June 2017.
The child’s mother Abigail Ruiters, 30, and her boyfriend Ameerudien Peters, 26, are currently on trial for the rape and murder of the little boy.
It’s alleged Peters, who was looking after the tot, raped, beat and then stabbed him to death at their home in Kensington.
He took the child to the local clinic, where the tot was declared dead on arrival.
Ruiters is charged with murder and child neglect under the Children’s Act.
The couple faces two more charges of child abuse with regards to Ruiters’ two surviving children, who are both under 10 years old.
Warrant Officer Cameron Morgan from Kensington Detective Services told the Western Cape High Court yesterday he thought the toddler was abused because of the extent of his injuries.
He says he was called to the clinic where he noticed blood in the boy’s nose.
“He had bruising on his forehead, blood in his mouth and his tongue was broken. Above his top lip were deep cuts, under his vest he had scratches, cuts and bite marks on his body. His arms had bruising and two puncture wounds on his abdomen,” Morgan testified.
He says when he asked Abigail about the bite and cut marks, she told him, ‘he [Jeremiah] bites himself’.
“I told Vispol members to open a murder docket and not an inquest. I was told the accused fell with the child, but his injuries were not consistent with a fall.
“Abigail asked to hold him one last time I said no. I believed the child was abused.”
The cop said he believed the bedroom of the couple’s “dirty, unkempt” wendy house was the crime scene.
Abigail’s two other children “were filthy, their clothes, feet, and hands dirty,” Morgan testified.
Morgan says he was told to rush back to the station.
“I got to the station and they said Peters was dead. He committed suicide in the cell. I went to the cell and there was blood everywhere.
“He was lying face down on the bench, he wrote on the floor in his own blood: ‘It’s not Abi, sorry’. After the word sorry it said Shamarah Peters, but I don’t know who that is.”
“When emergency services arrived, he was taken to the ambulance but soon came walking back with officers, he had only nicked his vein and it was bandaged up,” Morgan testified.
The case continues.