Legal guardian charged in death of 7-year-old
Toronto police have charged the legal guardian of a seven-year-old girl with second-degree murder after the child was found dead early Sunday morning.
Donna Irving, 29, is in police custody and will appear in court on Monday.
Police say Irving called 911 at about 2:30 a.m. and said the girl had choked to death in her apartment at 105 West Lodge Avenue, in the Queen Street West and Lansdowne Avenue area.
However, Det. Sgt. Steve Ryan alleged it was clear to officers and emergency medical services personnel who arrived on the scene that the girl had not choked.
"I can't give you the specifics, just that she was assaulted throughout her entire body," Ryan told reporters at a news conference on Sunday afternoon.
An autopsy has been scheduled for Monday, Ryan said.
He would not confirm the child's name, but CTV Toronto has identified her as Katelynn Sampson.
Ryan said that Irving was granted sole custody of the girl in January.
He also said Irving has four children. Two young boys live with her and two older children may be in the custody of Children's Aid, Ryan said.
However, only Irving and the girl were in the apartment at the time of the incident.
The girl's mother, Bernice Sampson, went to the west-end apartment in an attempt to see her daughter's body.
"Katelynn was a wonderful daughter," Sampson told CTV Toronto. "She was happy, she was doing good, or so I thought, and now she's not with me."
Sampson said she had some personal problems to take care of and she thought her daughter would be better off in Irving's care.
Sampson said her daughter lived with Irving for about a year-and-a-half.
Police questioned a man who lives with Irving in the apartment but he is not a suspect in the case, Ryan said.
The death is Toronto's 39th homicide of the year.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Matet Nebres