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Katelynn Sampson inquest expected to hear from aboriginal child welfare agency

TORONTO — The inquest into the death of a seven-year-old Toronto girl killed by her legal guardians is expected to hear from the city's aboriginal child welfare agency.

Native Child and Family Services was one of the agencies contacted about Katelynn Sampson or her guardians while she was living with them. The case was referred to them because one of Katelynn's guardians, Donna Irving, is of aboriginal heritage.

The inquest has heard from a former intake worker with the Children's Aid Society of Toronto who expressed concerns about Irving and her partner Warren Johnson before turning over the case to Native Child and Family Services.

The sharing of information between Toronto's four overlapping child welfare agencies has been a focus of the inquest.

Katelynn's mother, Bernice Sampson, was addicted to crack and gave her daughter to Irving and Johnson after realizing she was no longer able to care for the child herself. The pair was granted legal custody despite having several criminal convictions.

Katelynn's battered body was found in their apartment on Aug. 3, 2008 and an autopsy showed she died of septic shock stemming from her injuries.

The couple pleaded guilty three years ago to second-degree murder in Katelynn’s death and were sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years.

The Canadian Press

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