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Christmas Eve Death

January 1, 2013 permalink

A child died in a Hamilton hospital on Christmas Eve. The news article raises more questions than answers. Children's aid is mentioned, but nothing about their role.



Homicide squad probes Christmas Eve death of tot

McMaster Children's Hospital
Six-week-old boy died at Mac on Christmas Eve; autopsy indicates that the injuries were not consistent with natural death.
Kaz Novak/The Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton police remain tight-lipped about the circumstances surrounding an infant’s suspicious death on Christmas Eve.

“I’m not prepared to speak to the injuries,” said Detective Sergeant David Beech. “We’re trying to establish how they were received.”

Staff at McMaster University Medical Centre alerted police to the six-week-old boy just after 6:30 a.m. Monday. The baby had been brought into the hospital in medical distress the evening before, a media release said.

Shortly after police were called, however, the child died.

Beech wouldn’t reveal the baby’s identity or that of the family. He wouldn’t say how the infant arrived at the hospital or where he had come from — just that he was from Hamilton.

The homicide unit investigates all sudden deaths of children under five years old, but in this case, a post mortem examination revealed injuries that were not consistent with a natural death.

Police are withholding further details, at least until the investigation wraps up.

Beech couldn’t say when that will be.

“Anytime you’re dealing with the death of a baby, it’s a little bit different than an adult,” he said. “We’ll go as slow or as quickly as we need to, to find the answers.”

Beech said three detectives are working the case. So far, no arrests have been made.

Dr. Burke Baird, an emergency room physician at McMaster Children’s Hospital, couldn’t comment on the case for confidentiality reasons. However, he noted that all health professionals have a duty to report any suspected maltreatment to the Children’s Aid Society.

Baird said such reports are “quite common.” At McMaster, well over 100 cases of suspected abuse are reported annually. It occurs typically when a child is admitted with an injury for which there isn’t an explanation, or when the explanation doesn’t match the injury’s severity, he said.

“For example,” Baird added, “if a young baby that didn’t walk yet had a bunch of bruises and there was no explanation for them ... that might make someone wonder.”

Source: Hamilton Spectator