Toronto Star

Sep. 17, 01:00 EDT

Accused mother gets bail

Faces charge of manslaughter in baby's death

Tracy Huffman
Staff Reporter
Toronto Star

The mother of a 2-year-old girl who died of dehydration after allegedly being left alone in a sweltering apartment for many hours was released from jail yesterday into house arrest in her father's custody.

Clara Dasilva, 22, a tall, slight woman, now faces a manslaughter charge in addition to the charge of criminal negligence causing death laid shortly after the death of her toddler, Adrianna, on Sept. 9.

Outside court, homicide detectives said the additional charge is the result of a continuing investigation, but would not discuss details. A publication ban restricts the news media from printing details of yesterday's proceeding.

Justice of the Peace Anthony Walton set bail at $25,000. Dasilva must live with her father, obey his rules and not possess any weapons.

She may leave the house only with her father, mother or sister and is not to be with any child younger than 10 unless another adult is present.

Dasilva sat quietly in court. Her sister, the wife of a police officer, and her mother came from Montreal to show support.

Released from the College Park courthouse in a jail-issued green jogging suit and a black sweater, Dasilva was hugged by her father and escorted to a taxi, holding her head down.

Police allege Adrianna was left alone in Dasilva's Biggin Court apartment, near Eglinton Ave. E. and Victoria Park Ave., for as long as 12 hours. When Dasilva returned later on Sept. 9, the little girl was dead.

Outside court, Dasilva's father, Antonio, said the family is having a tough time coping with the loss of his only grandchild and the charges against his youngest daughter.

"It's hard on us," Antonio Dasilva said.

He said he felt the decision to release his daughter was fair.

On Saturday, he delivered the eulogy at Adrianna's funeral and said his final goodbye.

"She was my best friend," he said of the toddler. "She would take my hand and go around. She's gone. I did what I could."

As to Clara, he said, "It's tough for her. I will do anything I can to help her ... and get her help," Antonio Dasilva said. "I'm a man of principles."

Lawyer Joseph Wilkinson wouldn't comment on Dasilva's personal life except to say she had been employed.

Adrianna's father, Mark Yetman, 25, yesterday spoke publicly for the first time about the death of his only daughter.

"The whole thing is very devastating. It feels like my heart has been ripped out," he said in a telephone interview.

Yetman said he has mixed feelings about Dasilva's arrest. The couple broke up about a year and a half ago, but stayed on good terms.

He saw Adrianna two or three times a week.

"I was very surprised with the charges. Even though me and Clara weren't together, I never had a problem with her taking care of Adrianna. I always thought I couldn't have asked for a better mom for my daughter," he said.

Yetman, a delivery driver, kept a charm worn by Adrianna at her funeral. It's engraved: "Daddy's girl."

With files from Sonia Verma

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