Saturday, June 13, 2009

New Hazelton rattled by death of infant

The death of a 21 month old infant in New Hazelton has left that community in shattered and raised many questions of concern, all as the RCMP tries to get a better understanding as to what exactly happened to Jor-el Macnamara.

In the course of their investigation, the RCMP in New Hazelton have arrested a teenager and charged him with murder in the death of the infant who was found unresponsive last Wednesday, June 3rd around five in the afternoon and pronounced dead upon his arrival at Wrinch Memorial Hospital in New Hazelton.

The circumstances of Jor-el's passing have also raised some questions about the handling of his case file by the Ministry of Family Services, with many in the community expressing their concern over his recent placement, that after being removed from his family home and placed in the home of another family member in the community.

The situation has brought back memories of another similar incident seven years ago, when 19 month old Sherrie Charlie was placed in the home of another family in the community, only to be found dead twenty two days later. That case produced a number of full scale investigations into the workings of the Ministry and included a revision of guidelines for future cases.

The tragic outcome of Jor-el Mcnamara's short life has quickly become a national story, with major Canadian newspapers and other media sources examining the events and providing a sense of the shock that presently resonates in New Hazelton this weekend.

CBC News-- Teen charged with murdering child in New Hazelton, B.C.
CBC News-- Child's death in New Hazelton, B.C., a homicide: RCMP
CBC News-- Police probe 'suspicious' death of child from New Hazelton, B.C.
Globe and Mail-- Youth charged with murder in death of B.C. toddler
Globe and Mail-- Toddler's mysterious death investigated as homicide
Globe and Mail-- Mourners traumatized by sight of dead toddler's bruised face
Vancouver Province-- Youth charged in New Hazelton toddler's death
Vancouver Sun-- Boy arrested for murder of New Hazelton tot
Interior News (Smithers)-- Suspected homicide in Hazelton

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