Thursday, June 7, 2001
Calgary police charge mother in child's death, search for second baby's bodyJUDY MONCHUK
The Kingston Whig-Standard
CALGARY (CP) - Divers scoured the murky waters of the fast-flowing Bow River Thursday, looking for the tiny body of a baby girl wrapped in plastic bags whose toddler brother apparently died alone in an empty apartment.
The children's mother, Rei Fujii, is due in Alberta provincial court Friday charged with failing to properly bury the body of 15-month-old Dominic Ryu Brown.
Fujii, 23, a Japanese citizen who came to Calgary four years ago on a student visa, approached police late Wednesday.
Police began scouring the icy waters of the mountain-fed Bow after investigators learned Fujii also had a daughter, three-month-old Gemini Brown.
"We've learned the body of Gemini was placed in the river here in two plastic bags over the last several weeks," said Staff Sgt. George Rocks of the homicide unit, while police dogs and officers searched the brush along the banks of the river.
Gemini was believed to be wearing a yellow terry sleeper and a pink dress and was wrapped in a sleeping blanket.
Rocks said charges against Fujii, who was distraught when she notified authorities, may be elevated. It is expected she will be under suicide watch while in custody.
Rocks appealed to the public for information from anyone who may have helped Fujii care for her children.
Police, alerted by a landlord who reported a pungent odour, found Dominic's decomposing body Tuesday on the bedroom floor of a hollow apartment in southeast Calgary. Toys were strewn about and Rocks said an empty playpen was the only furniture in the apartment.
He would not say if the boy was clothed.
Neighbours in the run-down apartment block near the Stampede Grounds said a child's screams had gone on for days and nights - then silence.
Police have not been able to locate the children's natural father, a Calgary man who was not living in the apartment at the time.
Chris Dorion, who was jogging by the riverbank Thursday, was shaken by news police were searching for a baby's body.
"When you have a mother and her children, that's supposed to be the greatest amount of care we can have for one another," he said.
"What does this say, not only about her but about us and how we're treating each other as human beings? Things like this shouldn't happen and when they do you have to pause, take a look back and re-evaluate the situation."
Rocks said investigators have been touched by the difficulty of dealing with the deaths of two babies.
"Homicide's difficult at the best of time but when you have children, infants it has a greater impact," he said.
Results of an autopsy conducted Wednesday on the little boy's body were not released.
© The Canadian Press, 2001
Copyright The Kingston Whig-Standard©2001