Unlicenced Calgary dayhome operator charged in death of baby girl
A Calgary dayhome operator has been charged in connection with the death of an 18-month-old girl left in her care back in November 2015.
Elmarie Simons has been charged with criminal negligence causing death, something that Ceira McGrath’s parents, Tanya Gladwell and Ryan McGrath, have been actively seeking since her death.
"It was also just instant sadness wondering what her last minutes, hours, days were like and hoping she didn't suffer too much so it was quite the mix of emotions last night," said McGrath.
Gladwell and McGrath left their twin children Ciera and Colby in Simons’ care at the dayhome in Silverado which she ran without a licence.
Emergency crews were sent to the facility on Silverado Ridge Crescent S.W. after the little girl was unresponsive after a nap.
EMS took the girl to hospital where she was pronounced dead.
"The anatomy of a child is different than that of an adult and there are tests that we do on infants that we don't do on adults and they take a prolonged period of time to get the results back. We also consulted with a biomechanic expert and it took time for her to do her examination and prepare her report," said CPS S/Sgt. Doug Andrus from the Homicide Unit.
Simons told CTV following the death that Ceira was fussy and refused to nap in a playpen. As a result, she put her into a car seat to sleep, not knowing that that method has been declared dangerous by the Canadian Pediatric Society.
Ceira did not wake up from her nap.
On Wednesday, Simons was taken in for questioning and has now been charged with Ciera’s death.
Gladwell and McGrath are glad to hear about the charge and thanked the efforts of the CPS in a statement:
Everything our family has believed about the death of our perfectly healthy little girl was sadly confirmed. We still struggle every day; and can’t believe our daughter and sister has been taken from us. This type of cruelty towards a vulnerable child is unthinkable. However, we are pleased today and thankful for the tireless work of the Calgary Police service that at least brings some accountability in her passing. Our trust was ultimately betrayed; the lies and deceit seemingly endless, and we look forward to this person facing justice and answering for her horrible, disgusting crime. I hope at some point in life, we can teach our son to trust in the good of others again, but it’s going to be a long journey towards that day. We continue to endure endless pain and anguish wondering how our sweet, beautiful daughter suffered, and will continue to grieve our loss for the rest of our lives. Never mind the fact we feel our son is lucky he survived her wickedness. We only hope this monster feels a tiny bit of this pain now, and can own up to the brutality instead of citing nonsense like “only god knows what happened”, and suggesting this was “just an accident”. We have always categorically rejected these notions; as healthy little children simply do not die for no reason. We miss Ceira more than I can even express, and maybe now we can finally start to begin enjoying her smile and laugh again in photos and videos, and have some closure, or knowledge it’s coming soon.
Our family now needs some time and privacy to let this news take hold, and to honour and remember our daughter.
Ryan, Tanya and Colby
There is no information on when Simons is expected in court.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family, click HERE for more details.