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Boy found in pond was ‘polite, smart’

Relatives of 11-year-old Gerodo Taylor Jr. yesterday described him as smart, polite and adventurous.

The boy was found dead in a pond on the grounds of the Oakes Field Sports Centre Golf Academy in Yellow Elder Gardens last Tuesday.

“That’s my first sibling, so it really touched me,” said Gerodo’s brother, Lashard Strachan, 22.

“I was at work when I found out the news. I had to leave work and I came home.”

Strachan described Gerodo as a sweet young boy.

He said his brother looked up to him.

“He always came to me when he wanted something or needed something,” Strachan said.

“He always used to like [playing] games. … He was a very smart young man for his age. He made a 3.0. He liked going to school. He used to like to keep friends.”

Gerodo was described as quiet and mannerly by his mother’s landlord, Tyrone Davis, who said he knew him for about two years.

“I’ve seen him back and forth,” Davis said.

“He always seemed to be a mannerly, respectable little boy. When you gave him something, he would say, ‘Thank you. I appreciate it’ or [if he is] passing you, he would say, ‘Good morning’ or ‘Good day’.

“You never saw him being disrespectful and I never heard nobody saying he had done something wrong because he was a quiet little boy.” 

Gerodo’s mother, Stephanie Hanna, was charged on Monday with cruelty to children concerning the boy’s 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.

Prosecutors allege that Hanna’s neglect of her son contributed to his death.

Gerodo was found partially submerged in the pond. Police suspect he had been there for at least 24 hours, and reported that he was partially clothed.

When asked if Gerodo liked going to the pond, Strachan replied, “Not that I know of. That’s the first time I ever knew about that, but I knew he and his friends used to go wandering a lot.”

Hanna is also Strachan’s mother.