Director of Public Prosecution to investigate the death of Nicole Polonio
Saturday, February 4th, 2023
The death of islander Nicole Polonio, 34, has many residents concerned about the circumstances leading to her sudden demise. According to those close to Polonio, she spent her last days at her home on Swan Street restrained in a room, tied up, screaming for help, and only fed grapes. According to reports, Polonio was believed to be either mentally challenged or possessed and was kept in confinement for her safety. However, some believe Polonio was ill-treated to the extreme, which caused her death. As a result, San Pedro police viewed the case and said they would send the file to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for advice.
The death certificate indicates Nicole Polonio died due to ‘positional asphyxia due to freedom restraining measures.’ The certificate added that the toxicology report is pending. Friends and residents witnessing the incident, which spanned for two weeks, are hoping the police investigate the case and the DPP supports holding someone liable. They believe Polonio was not mentally ill, and the extreme confinement from the family led to her demise.
The unofficial police report states that on Saturday, January 28th, at about 2:30PM, San Pedro Police visited the Swan Street residence of Lina Polonio. On arrival, seen was the motionless body of a female lying face up on her bed inside a room. She was wrapped in a white sheet tied behind her back with her hands out with bruises to both wrists, feet, body, and face. The report reveals that on Sunday, January 22nd, Polonio began suffering from a mental disorder and started hurting herself by banging her head on the house walls, breaking items, and running around naked on the street.
As a result, the report indicates that Polonio was restrained by her sisters and daughter, tied both her hands and feet together with a galvanized chain measuring about 10 feet long so as for her not to hurt herself or anyone within the house, and to keep her from running away. She reportedly remained locked in her room with both feet and hands chained until Friday, January 27th, when she was released from the chains because she had discontinued her aggressive behaviour toward herself. However, she remained wrapped in the sheets inside her room, lying on her bed. The report ends by saying that on Saturday, January 28th , at about 6AM, Polonio was seen alive and fighting to untie herself by biting on the white sheet she was wrapped in. Later in the day, at about noon, Polonio was reportedly found motionless.
Family’s version disputed
A source near Polonio shared that Polonio was begging for help during her time in the room. She was seen as normal on Sunday (January 22nd), but by Monday, her hands were already tied with a chain, the witness said. The person visited Polonio the following day and found her on a mattress lying on the floor of her room. According to the report, Polonio was semi-naked and tied down with both hands and feet in a chain. The family members around were asked why she was held this way. Polonio told her friend that she was not fed or given water. The family told Polonio’s friend that they tied her up to avoid her running out on the street. They also said that Polonio was being given water and taken care of. That was the last time Polonio saw her friend, as the family reportedly did not allow anyone to see her after that.
Those concerned for Polonio in the neighbourhood tried to give her food through her window until it was shut with boards. Neighbours say they could hear screams from Polonio’s room, and after the family (particularly the mother), the police and other authorities were asked to intervene. The police say they could not deal with someone suffering from mental issues. According to another of Polonio’s friends, the Human Development Department was also contacted without luck. The female acquaintance said a representative from the San Pedro Town Council tried to get professional help for Polonio, but the family did not accept any assistance.
Attempts were also made by other people, who brought medical personnel to the house to render assistance. According to them, the family (mother) refused to let anyone inside the house and let them know they knew what to do and could take care of the issue. As a result, they took the matter to the police and sought a warrant to get Polonio out of the house. The plan was to take her to the mainland if the situation became that urgent. They just needed to go inside Polonio’s for an evaluation and provide her with adequate assistance.
However, by the time authorization could be obtained, it was too late. Polonio had passed away. They said if the warrant/authorization could have been done faster, they could have reached Polonio before her death. They say when they finally entered her room, Polonio was no longer on a mattress on the floor but in a bed. According to them, it seemed that Polonio was clean and dressed, and even the room appeared different. They join other people, who asked to remain anonymous, believing that Polonio did not die of any illness or witchcraft, and someone must be held responsible for this sad incident.
As the investigation continues, Nicole Polonio leaves behind five children, other family members, and a host of friends. We will continue following.
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