Toronto Star

Sep. 14, 01:00 EDT

Mother in probe faces drug charges

Michelle Shephard
Crime Reporter
Toronto Star

A mother under investigation in the death of her 6-week-old boy is now facing drug trafficking charges.

Detectives arrested 27-year-old Carrie Munshaw yesterday after a search of her apartment, police say.

Emergency workers first came to Munshaw's ninth-floor Wellesley St. E. apartment on Sunday morning to try to revive her baby. She had only cared for the infant since Friday, when Children's Aid Society workers handed him back to her, having seized the baby when he was first born.

Two of her older children were previously removed from her care .

A family court order allowed Munshaw to have the baby, providing she live with her aunt outside of Toronto. She was allowed, under the court conditions, two visits to Toronto a month.

An autopsy showed that the baby died of dehydration due to gastroenteritis. When he was given to his mother on Friday, in the presence of her aunt, he was examined by a doctor for the Children's Aid Society and declared healthy.

A police investigation, expected to last weeks, will look into the boy's death, Ontario's deputy chief coroner said yesterday. Dr. Jim Cairns said that gastroenteritis, an irritation of the stomach lining that causes diarrhea, fever and vomiting, is fairly common and not often fatal. Children must stay well hydrated and are admitted to hospital if they can't accept fluids.

"But there are (gastroenteritis) cases when no matter what parents do, a child can die. Our investigation on this case now focuses on what happened between Friday and Sunday."

Munshaw is jointly charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime with Jade Barsalou, 19.

Cairns met with 52 Division detectives yesterday to discuss this case and the death last weekend of a 5-year-old girl. The same shift of detectives was on duty for both deaths.

The girl fell from a 22nd-floor balcony of a Yonge St. apartment building near Queens Quay while her great uncle and father were in separate rooms. Two days later, the great uncle, who had a history of depression, killed himself out of grief, Cairns said.

At first the case was classified as suspicious, but Cairns confirmed that the file was closed yesterday.

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