Calgary Sun

June 10, 2001

Aching hearts

Rie's parents planning to join her

By MIZUE ASAI and BILL KAUFMANN -- Calgary Sun

The heartbroken parents of Rie Fujii will buy flowers in Calgary to honour the two dead grandchildren they never knew they had.

Hideto and Tomoko Fujii, who are still in Japan, say they're aching to see their daughter Rie, who's in police custody following the suspicious death of her 15-month-old son Domenic and while police still search the Bow River for the body of her three-month-old daughter Gemini.

"We want to be there when she's in court (tomorrow), but we can't. We won't be there in time," father Hideto said yesterday from his home in southwest Japan.

But the grandparents will get to Calgary when they can to honour the two grandchildren they've only known of since Thursday and have never seen, since their daughter kept all knowledge of the babies secret from them.

"We want to get flowers for them when we get to Calgary," said Hideto, who immediately asked if Gemini had been found.

When told that she had not, he burst into tears.

The parents said they're not angry with their daughter and plan to bring her a gift of manju -- sweet Japanese dumplings.

"Those are her favourite," said Hideto.

On a trip two weeks ago to the Japanese island of Kyushu, Rie's father bought his daughter a gift to mark her expected return home at the end of May.

But instead, the parents were informed of the death of Domenic and the disappearance of Gemini, as well as news their daughter was in custody.

The family has hired a Calgary lawyer and is being assisted by the Japanese Embassy in Canada.

The double tragedy unfolded after Domenic's body was found Tuesday in apartment 203 at 126 14 Ave. S.W.

After interviewing Domenic's mother, divers began a search of a stretch of the Bow River. They were looking for Gemini's body, which they believe is clothed in a pink dress and wrapped in plastic bags.

Two days of searching in the murky, runoff-swollen river failed to find the body. It's expected the search will resume when the river settles down.

Detectives have urged fishermen on the Bow from south of the helipad near Prince's Island Park all the way to the Carseland Weir to be alert to any plastic bags they find.

Copyright © 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.