SASKATOON — Justice officials in Saskatchewan say a teenage girl accused of killing a baby boy had escaped custody the day before the death.
The teen was arrested after officers found the injured six-week-old infant at a Saskatoon home on Sunday morning. The baby died in hospital.
Ministry of Justice spokesman Drew Wilby said the girl was seen leaving an open-custody youth facility at about 12:45 a.m. on Saturday. Saskatoon police were notified almost immediately.
In Saskatoon, where the girl appeared briefly in court on charges of second-degree murder and escaping lawful custody, the infant's relatives cried out for help.
Sympathetic daughter brought teen home
The boy's maternal grandfather said his daughter met the girl downtown and realized that she had nowhere to go. He said the teen was "lost to society and the world,'' so his sympathetic daughter brought her home.
"I raised my children with respect, to help out people in need,'' he said outside the courthouse.
"All I wanted to say was let there be justice served for my grandson,'' the grandfather said as he choked back tears.
"He was sadly taken away from us, for what, I don't know.''
The grandfather said no one in the family knew the girl.
Wilby said open custody means doors cannot be locked and staff can't physically stop young offenders from leaving. But if they do, they are breaking the law.
"Young offenders under an open-custody sentence are able to leave under their own accord, in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act,'' he explained.
"Once they leave the facility, they're now guilty of another offence.''
Previously escaped in February
The girl was sentenced last December to 10 months in open custody for break and enter, arson, assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon and robbery with a weapon. She was also to serve five months of community supervision after her time in custody.
The teen first escaped in February, was caught and sentenced to 60 days secure custody, which she served at a facility in Regina. She was returned to open custody in Saskatoon in April.
The teen cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
With files from CKOM
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