Globe and Mail

POSTED AT 2:36 PM EDT Saturday, June 09

Parents mourn grandchildren they didn't know

Canadian Press
The Globe and Mail

Calgary — The father of a toddler found dead in a vacant apartment said his estranged girlfriend stymied his attempts to see his son and the boy's missing infant sister.

And the mother's parents said from Japan that they would have looked after the children — if only they'd known about them.

Rie Fujii, 23, is in jail after police found the body of her 15-month-old son, Dominic Ryu Brown, in a Calgary apartment Tuesday. Police have also spent two days this week searching the Bow River for Dominic's three-month-old sister Gemini based on the belief Ms. Fujii wrapped the infant in plastic bags and dumped her body in the waterway.

The children's father, Calgary resident Peter Brown, said Friday that Ms. Fujii ended their four-year relationship four months ago. He said Fujii and her friends wouldn't tell him where she or the children went.

"They knew where she was and wouldn't tell me where she was and now this has happened," Mr. Brown said. "It could have been prevented.

"This is a tragic event in my life."

Rie's father Hideto Fujii, sobbing upon hearing of the deaths of two little grandchildren he never knew he had, said he and his wife would have welcomed the babies into the family.

"I would have been very surprised to see the kids but I'm sure we would have taken care of them. We'd help raise the kids," said Mr. Fujii, speaking from the small city of Tswano-cho in southwest Japan.

"I can't find words to express how I feel now."

Grandmother Tomoko Fujii said she heard a baby's cries during a phone call to her daughter last year and asked Rie if the child was hers.

"She said 'No, I'm just babysitting,'–" said Tomoko.

Around the time Rie would have given birth to Gemini in March, she asked her parents for money to cover medical bills.

"She said it was to remove an appendix and I believed her," said the mother.

Rie's mother said she had no idea her daughter was having difficulties. The last time the two spoke on May 24, Rie sounded fine.

"She seemed happy. I thought she was doing fine. She'd gone to Banff and was visiting her host family," said Tomoko. "She's a nice daughter who's independent. She would never tell us she was having difficulties."

The parents described a daughter who excelled at school, was active, popular, and conscientious. They hope to come to Calgary to be with their daughter as soon as possible. The parents say they aren't angry with their daughter.

"We just want to be there to help her," said the father.

"I cannot believe this," said Tomoko. "I would have wanted to see my grandchildren."

Ms. Fujii is scheduled to appear in provincial court Monday morning charged with failing to properly dispose of a dead body. She has hired lawyer Bob Batting.

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