Victoria Times Colonist

Nanaimo mom charged with killing daughter

Kim Westad
Victoria Times Colonist
Wednesday, December 18, 2002

VICTORIA -- A 26-year-old Nanaimo woman was charged Tuesday with murdering her two-year-old daughter, putting an end to the mystery of the whereabouts of the toddler, who had not been seen for weeks.

Laurina Marie Aune will appear in Nanaimo provincial court today, charged with the second-degree murder of Kyla Aune.

A child's body was found Tuesday afternoon in Aune's apartment, during a search by Nanaimo RCMP.

Although police said the identity of the body had not yet been confirmed, the charge against Aune identified the victim as Kyla Aune.

The charge also alleges that Aune murdered her child on or about Nov. 1.

"It's just shocking," said Art Moore, the manager of the apartment complex where Aune and her daughter lived since July.

"I didn't really get to know [Laurina Aune], but she seemed pleasant and the child always looked happy. Kyla was a cute little thing. When I saw the two together, the mom was smiling and the child seemed content."

He last saw Aune on Dec. 1, when she paid the rent. She seemed her usual self, he said.

Police had been investigating Kyla's disappearance since Sunday, when they were contacted by the provincial child and family development ministry. Police said confidentiality rules prevent them from saying how the ministry learned of the tot's disappearance.

Police began looking for the girl and were told Kyla had not been seen for some time, possibly as far back as the first week of November, Constable Jack Eubank said.

Police will suggest the Crown ask for a psychiatric assessment when Aune appears in court, Eubank said.

A post-mortem will determine the cause of death.

"The cause of death isn't apparent at this time," Eubank said.

Eubank would not say what involvement the provincial government ministry had with Aune, the single mother of Kyla.

"Aune is the child's natural mother, Eubank said.

The natural father, who does not live in Canada, has been notified of the death, he said.

Kyla is believed to be Aune's only child.

Eubank said police were not releasing where in the apartment the body was found, or how long the body had been in the home.

Second-degree murder means the killing was intentional, but was not planned and deliberate, as is first-degree murder.

© Copyright 2002 Vancouver Sun