The abandoned toddler that was discovered outside the Good Shepherd Anglican Church on April 21, 2017, in Edmonton Canada has been identified and a cause of death has been determined. The suspects that were previously persons of interest have been arrested and charged.
Edmonton police have identified the abandoned toddler as Anthony Raine, son of Joseph Crier and Dalyce Raine. The toddler was living with Crier and his girlfriend, Tasha-Lee Mack. Crier and Mack have been arrested in the death of the abandoned child and briefly appeared in court on Monday. Mack and Crier were both guardians of the toddler. They were arrested while riding a transit bus on the Saturday after the toddler's body was discovered beside the church. Crier and Mack are currently in custody at the Edmonton Remand Centre.
According to CBC, Staff Sgt. Duane Hunter spoke in a news conference and called killing of the abandoned toddler a "heinous crime." He said in the news conference that the toddler was abandoned outside the church three days before the body was found and that the child was already dead when he was abandoned there.
Hunter had the following to say.
"He was living a terrible life, full of violence, and that is incredibly sad, and that you don't even want to speak about...bruises all over his body..."The toddler was severely neglected.
Crier and Mack have been charged with several offenses in relation to the abandoned toddler. Crier faces one count of assault causing bodily harm against the toddler, and two more charges of assault. The charge of assault causing bodily harm is believed to have taken place between April 14-18, 2017, and the second and third assault charges against the toddler took place on April 6, 2017 and April 17, 2017.
Crier appeared in court on Monday, April 24, 2017, and was told not to have contact with Mack or with the crown witnesses, Dalyce Raine and Alexa Noseworthy. He will appear in court again on May 8, 2017.
Mack appeared in court looking visibly upset and fighting back tears. She stared at the ground with her arms folded and was advised to get in contact with legal aid as soon as possible.
The mother of the abandoned toddler, Dalyce Raine, said that the toddler was left in the care of his father six weeks ago. He was to care for the child that he later abandoned while she was in nursing school.
Raine and her older sisters, Ashley and Brandi, received support from their community at the Louis Bull Recreation Centre in Maskwacis, on Sunday, April 23, 2017.She told CBC, "I never thought I would have to bury my own son."
Ashley Raine, the toddler's aunt, said, "He was sweet. Every morning he...comes running down the hall and he would run to his mom and kiss her."
A GoFundMe was set up in behalf of the family of the abandoned toddler to help with funeral costs. The goal was $9,000 and already the fund is at $10,000 at the time of publishing.
The memorial on the north wall of the Good Shepherd Anglican church continues to grow as people come to place items for the abandoned toddler, now identified as Anthony Raine. Teddy bears, flowers, balloons and other items lay among the recently fallen snow. Some people have even brought toys that belonged to their own children. A vigil will be held later in the week for people to pay respects to the abandoned toddler that will remain in the hearts of family, friends, and others who have observed the news around this horrific death.
Anthony Joseph Gordon Raine, the abandoned toddler found by the church, was 17 months old. He was nicknamed Mowgli by his aunts and uncles and he loved superheroes. His mother was from the Louis Bull Reserve but the toddler had not yet been registered with them. People remember his being a happy and special baby that lit up the room.
[Featured Image by SarahSallySpear/iStock by Getty Images]