Shortly after nine-week-old Cameron died in bed at his Kitchener, Ont., home on Dec. 1, 2002, a red flag went up. Authorities quickly learned that four years earlier, when the boy's family lived in nearby Guelph, his brother Alexander had died at seven weeks old in similar circumstances.
“There was a lot of conversation with [police in] Guelph and with the coroner's office,” Staff Sergeant Bryan Larkin of Waterloo Regional Police said. “Obviously, we had some investigatory concerns.”
What was not anticipated was that those concerns would culminate in two first-degree-murder charges against the boys' mother.
She appeared in a Guelph, Ont. courtroom Friday.
As with Alexander four years earlier, the postmortem and toxicology tests on Cameron proved inconclusive. There was no definitive finding, but the likeliest culprit looked to be sudden infant death syndrome — often called crib death — a leading cause of death among infants, claiming 0.45 babies out of every 1,000 live births in Canada.
A funeral notice in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record that mourned the loss of Cameron noted the earlier demise of Alexander and urged contributions for SIDS research. There was no hint of violence or foul play. Case closed.
That was until Thursday, when, in a startling turn of events, the children's 24-year-old mother was arrested.
After Friday's brief court hearing, she was remanded in custody until Jan. 24. Her two other young children — the two dead sons had different fathers — are being placed in care, police said.