National Post

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Thursday, July 01, 1999

Mother charged with murder in deaths of her two children
Held in custody: Autopsy results confirm girl, 5, boy, 3, died by drowning

Jeff Adams
Calgary Herald

CALGARY - A 37-year-old Calgary mother has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder after RCMP found her two children dead in the family's time-share condo at an upscale resort in Fairmont, B.C.

Diane Mitsuko Yano appeared yesterday in B.C. Provincial Court in Cranbrook, and will be held in custody for a 30-day psychiatric assessment.

Both victims -- Joshua, age three, and his sister Brittany, age five -- appear to have drowned, RCMP Constable Mark Sorokan said from nearby Invermere, B.C.

Autopsy results released late yesterday confirmed the two children died by drowning, but Const. Sorokan said officials have ruled out any possibility the children died in the Mountainside Vacation Villa's indoor swimming pool, and said the victims were not in the bathtub when police arrived.

Although the victims' father was also staying in the two-bedroom condo, RCMP have not detained him or released his name.

"He was very distraught," after his wife's arrest, Const. Sorokan said, and family members have travelled to be with him.

Const. Sorokan said someone staying at the villa asked staff to call an ambulance at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Ambulance attendants arrived and quickly called RCMP, who took Ms. Yano into custody at 5:30 p.m.

The parents were at the residence when police arrived, Const. Sorokan said.

Bastiaan Winckers, villa manager, said he's been "trying to minimize any impact" from the deaths by withholding details from guests unless they ask.

"We've been telling them there's been a tragedy, it's been dealt with, and there's no external threat," he said. "It's a resort, and it's not really appropriate for people to be burdened with that type of news on their holidays."

Mr. Winckers said all 116 condo units are privately owned, with many regularly rented to outside parties for an average $230 a night for two bedrooms.

The resort is famous for its nearby hot springs.

Copyright Southam Inc.