Toronto Star

Mar. 21, 01:23 EDT

Mother charged in `poison cocktail' death of disabled daughter

The Toronto Star

MONTREAL (CP) - A woman was charged yesterday with first-degree murder in the death of her 14-year-old handicapped daughter who consumed what police called a ``poison cocktail.''

Chelsea Craig was ``more like a baby'' and still wore diapers, said Montreal police Detective-Lieutenant Jean-François Martin.

Martin said Rachel Capra Craig, 46, was in stable condition in hospital after likely taking the same cocktail of medication that proved fatal for Chelsea.

Jim Chisholm, who knew the family, said the girl suffered from Rett's syndrome, which the Canadian Medical Association defines as a brain disorder that affects only girls.

A school bus driver who also knew the teen said Chelsea's mother was very protective.

``She would go out of her way, even at the school, to make sure her child was properly cared for,'' the woman said. ``If she felt she wasn't, she would be saying so. She (the girl) would get nervous and she would panic and take fits if she were frightened.''

A neighbour of the family's said they remained a mystery.

``It's terrible, it's terrible,'' said Robert Buriss. ``They'd come in with their car, they'd open the garage door, drive the car in the garage and close the door. They were very reclusive.''

Montreal police spokesperson Carolyne Courteau said Chelsea was mentally and physically handicapped and was given a ``poison cocktail.''

Martin said the woman was to enter a plea in court today.

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