Calgary Herald

Friday, June 21, 2002

Mother partied while babies died

Daryl Slade
Calgary Herald

Calgary Herald
Parents of Rie Fujii leave Calgary's Court of Queen's Bench Thursday afternoon.
Rie Fujii put her selfish sexual cravings ahead of her two young children when she fled to Cochrane, only to return 10 days later to find her young children had starved to death.

The 24-year-old Japanese woman, living illegally in Calgary on an expired visitor's visa last year, lied to new boyfriend Chris Knowler about having left 15-month-old son Domenic and three-month-old daughter Gemini with a babysitter.

In fact, she admitted in a detailed statement of facts read in court by Crown prosecutor Pat Yelle, that she had left the helpless children to fend for themselves with only one baby bottle when she left her second-floor apartment at 126 14th Ave. S.E.

Fujii, who pleaded guilty Thursday through lawyer Bob Batting to two counts of manslaughter, admitted she put her tiny girl's lifeless body in a garbage bag and placed it in a nearby Dumpster on May 18, 2001, never to be found.

She left her son's body wrapped in a blanket in the lone bedroom and even returned once to her Victoria Park home with Knowler, who was unaware the dead child was there.

Police found the decomposing corpse on June 5, 2001, after the building's owner came to follow up on an eviction notice he had placed under the door four days earlier.

© Copyright 2002 Calgary Herald