The little girl was identified earlier this week as Eva Ravikovich, a bright-eyed toddler whose parents describe as a “very mature and clever child.”
“Every morning we wake up to the reality that our daughter has been taken away from us and every day we fail to learn how to live with this reality,” parents Ekaterina and Vyacheslav Ravikovich said in a statement. “She will be forever loved and painfully missed.”
Eva was buried with her favourite toy, a plush puppet from her favourite Russian cartoon show, they said.
York Regional Police homicide detectives are investigating, as is standard procedure for when a child under the age of five dies.
Family spokesperson Alisa Fulshtinski said Eva`s mother has told her she goes to the cemetery every day to visit her daughter.
“You can hear the sadness in her voice,” Fulshtinski said. “She says that waking up in the morning is the hardest time for her because she has to wake up into this reality every single time.”
Fulshtinski is also the creator of the Facebook group Toronto Mommies, an online community that brings together mothers from Toronto’s Russian community.
The group has created online fundraiser to raise money in support of the family and funeral costs.
“They are a young couple, newlywed when the mother got pregnant so this was their first child,” Fulshtinski said.
The CBC`s Travis Dhanraj says other parents he spoke with claim they were flat out lied to about the daycare being fully licensed and that the owner even showed them false documentation.
The daycare centre has since been shut down due to a number of health infractions.
Lada Korine’s two sons had been going to the daycare for years. She remembers calling that day to check up on them when the owner reluctantly gave her the news of Eva’s death.
“She said that they have a problem and one of the girls didn't wake up,” Korine said, alleging the owner then pleaded with her not to pick up her boys just yet. “She said please don`t come because the kids [were] transferred to another house and she doesn`t want police to know about another house.”
The Ravikovich family, meanwhile, is awaiting details on how Eva died.
“Our only hopes are that [the] discovery of the reason for our child`s death will help bring some peace,” they said.