Tuesday, June 12, 2001
Japanese mother of dead Alberta baby faces immigration chargesCanoe News
CALGARY (CP) -- A Japanese woman who has been charged in the death of her toddler and whose infant daughter is missing now faces immigration charges as well.
Rob Ferguson, director of Citizenship and Immigration Canada in Calgary, confirmed Tuesday that Rie Fujii, 23, has been charged with remaining in Canada illegally.
"It's basically a dual procedure where she's being investigated for charges under the Criminal Code but also we've got an immigration hold on her," Ferguson said.
Fujii was charged last week with failing to properly dispose of the body of her 15-month-old son, Domenic Brown. She came forward after his body was found in an empty Calgary apartment.
Police also spent two days last week searching the Bow River for Domenic's three-month-old sister, Gemini. It's believed Gemini was wrapped in plastic bags and dumped in the river a few weeks ago.
Ferguson said Canada Immigration won't act until the criminal case works its way through the courts.
"A person who is in Canada as a visitor or illegally in the country that gets convicted of a criminal offence -- could result in them being deported from Canada," he said.
Ferguson also clarified the circumstances of Fujii's arrival in Canada from Japan, saying reports she had come on a student visa were not accurate.
"She was in Canada as a visitor and was initially granted entry for six months from the original date of her arrival in October of 1999," he said. "That gave her visitor's status until April of 2000."
Fujii appeared briefly in court on the criminal charge Monday and was sent for a 30-day psychiatric assessment to determine if she is fit to stand trial. Police and her lawyer have acknowledged other charges may be laid.
Police have yet to interview Peter Brown, the children's father. Insp. Blake McWilliam said Brown has a number of outstanding warrants but isn't considered a suspect in the case involving his children.
"We've publicly stated that he was out of the family picture before the second birth," said McWilliam.
"So I don't see the need for the cloak and dagger act."
Copyright © 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.