Calgary Parents charged in connection with death of infant
Calgary Parents charged in connection with death of infant

Calgary Parents charged in connection with death of infant

The Calgary Police Service has charged the biological parents of an infant who died in 2013.

Police said a 14-month-old boy was taken to a hospital by his parents in November of last year.

“The child was suffering from a staph infection that was complicated by malnutrition and, as a result, that infection was untreatable,” said Calgary police Staff Sgt. Doug Andrus.

“In the majority of cases, this infection is treatable by antibiotics if treated earlier.”

Andrus said it’s believed the child had not seen a doctor since his birth, adding the boy was not born in a hospital.

The investigation suggests “the family followed a strict dietary regimen based on their faith and nutritional beliefs,” said Andrus, noting the family lived in a home in a residential community in north Calgary.

The parents are accused of hiding their son’s poor health from other relatives.

“(We believe) that the family took steps to conceal his condition from family members and it was only after a realization by a family member that the infant was sick that they were advised to take him to the hospital,” said Andrus.

Two older siblings of the boy were taken from the parents in the early stages of the police investigation and are now in a safe place, said Andrus.

On Friday, more than a year after John’s death, his mom and dad were arrested.

“The investigation into the manner and cause of death of infants can be a long and complicated process,” said Andrus.

“The anatomy of a child is different than that of an adult and there are tests that are conducted on an infant that aren’t conducted on adults and it can take time to get those results.

“In regards to this investigation, we consulted four experts to help us determine the manner and cause of death that included an infectious disease specialist, a neurologist, a dermatologist and a pediatrician.

“It took time to get the results of their examination of the file.”

Andrus called cases of this nature “extremely rare.

“We’re concerned any time we have a death in the city, but when we have the death of an infant, it tends to strike a chord with everyone,” he said.

Jennifer Clark, 38, and Jeromie Clark, 34, of Calgary, are both charged with criminal negligence causing death and failure to provide the necessities of life.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, parents or guardians are required to provide the essentials for a child’s survival, including food, shelter, care and medical attention necessary to sustain life and protection from harm.

The parents are scheduled to appear in court on Monday.


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