Death of Edmonton toddler a 'devastating tragedy'
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Death of Edmonton toddler a 'devastating tragedy'

A snow-ringed memorial to a toddler found dead in north Edmonton Friday continues to grow as members of the public struggle to come to terms with the "devastating tragedy".

Late Saturday night police arrested a woman and man in northwest Edmonton without incident after earlier in the day releasing security photos from a nearby Beaumaris Sobeys store taken April 17 that showed the couple with distinctive ball caps pushing a stroller.

The body of the boy, who is believed to be about 20 months, was discovered by a passerby on Friday near Good Shepherd Anglican Church on Castle Downs Road.

Homicide investigators said they believe he was left there Tuesday between 10:51 a.m. and 11:51 a.m.

On Sunday, as Rev. Jon Connell led an hour-long service inside the Good Shepherd Anglican Church, a steady stream of people visited the makeshift shrine on the northern edge of the building.

Overnight snow had largely covered the flowers, toys and notes left by the public, but church volunteers earlier in the morning shovelled a pathway through the snow to allow people access to the site.

One of those wishing to show his support was Brad Chalmers.

The founder of Fathers' Rights Edmonton lives in the neighbourhood and drove to the site Sunday to place a large wooden cross and a small teddy bear.

Chalmers, who has a young daughter himself, said the incident was hard to fathom.

"It's just a horrible tragedy," he said.

"It's our most precious resource, our children, for someone to just abandon a child like that, it's horrific."

Inside the church, Connell told more than three dozen parishioners that a vigil service was being planned for next week.

Connell described the event as a "devastating tragedy and loss of a life that should never happen."

"Needless to say, as a parish, we are all dreadfully sad and disappointed and dreadfully sorry for the loss of this little life."

Edmonton police are expected to release more information Sunday about the case.

An autopsy is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Monday. 

Timeline: Suspicious death of toddler in Edmonton stretches back to Tuesday

A woman and man are facing charges after the body of a toddler was found behind a north Edmonton church Friday, the boy abandoned there since Tuesday. Here is a timeline of events that unfolded over the past week in relation to the death:

Monday, April 17

• A man and a woman are captured on surveillance cameras pushing a baby stroller into the Beaumaris Sobeys store of Castle Downs Road in north Edmonton.

Tuesday, April 18

• Sometime between 10:51 a.m. and 11:51 a.m. a male toddler, believed to be 20-months-old, is left near the Good Shepherd Anglican Church near 155 Avenue and Castle Downs Road. The church is less than 200 metres north of the Sobeys.

Friday, April 21

• The toddler’s tiny body is found by a passerby around 2:30 p.m.

• Police issue a statement at 4:07 p.m. saying they are investigating a suspicious death.

• At 10 p.m. homicide section Staff Sgt. Duane Hunter hosts a media conference at police headquarters to exhibit the toddler's clothing to try and help identify him or his family.

Saturday, April 22

• People passing by the church in the morning begin to drop off flowers and toys at a makeshift shrine for the toddler.

• At 4:55 p.m. police release surveillance photos from the Beaumaris Sobeys store of "two individuals of interest" and urge anyone with information to come forward. Police confirm an autopsy is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday.

• Several hours later, a man and a woman are arrested in northwest Edmonton without incident. Investigators say that charges are pending against both suspects and that investigators are "working to determine the exact relationship between the suspects and the little boy."

Sunday, April 23:

• The memorial continues to grow in size as more members of the public drop of cards, flowers and toys.

• Police are scheduled to release more information today.

Source: Edmonton Police Service

source : Calgary SUN
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