A family member says six-week-old Nikosis Jace Cantre was found bruised and bloodied in his playpen before dying in hospital.
Police reported officers found Cantre with injuries after responding to a call at a home on Waterloo Crescent around 7 a.m. Sunday.
A 16-year-old girl is accused of second-degree murder in Cantre’s death. It has since emerged that she walked away from the open custody wing at Kilburn Hall Youth Centre at 12:45 a.m. on July 2, before being taken in by members of the Bird family.
Andrea Bird is a cousin of Cantre’s mother, Alyssa Bird. She told News Talk Radio she went to Alyssa’s home shortly after police left on July 3.
Bird said she was at a home on 8th Street that morning when she was woken up by another cousin and a female officer from the Saskatoon police mobile crisis unit.
“She asked me if I could watch (my cousins’) kids. And I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ And that lady said, ‘I can’t tell you anything,’” Bird said.
“Then I looked at my cousin…because she was standing there with her, and she just said, ‘You know that girl you guys found?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah’. And she’s like, ‘she beat up Nikosis.’”
After arriving at Alyssa’s house, Bird said she spoke with Cantre’s aunt about what happened before police arrived.
“My older cousin Larissa came out and she’s like, ’That girl! That girl beat up Nikosis!’” Bird said.
“I was like, ‘What? What exactly happened?’ And (Larissa’s) like, ‘I don’t know. Alyssa came to my room and said, ‘Look what – look at my baby! Look what she did to my baby!’ And she was holding her baby.”
Bird said even though she never saw Cantre herself, she was told he was bleeding.
Bird said she also spoke directly with Alyssa, who told her she went out for a smoke around 6 a.m. that morning.
“(Alyssa said) when she was done her smoke, she came back inside and she noticed that girl was stepping out of her room and she was wondering, like, ‘Why was she in her room?’” Bird said.
“So she went to her room and (was) checking to see if anything was missing from her room, and she noticed her baby like that in his playpen.”
The accused girl is currently being kept in custody.
None of the allegations made by the family have been proven in court.
SPENT HOURS WITH THE ACCUSED
Starting around 4 p.m. Saturday, Bird said the girl was with her and other family members at the 8th Street home. Bird said they helped dye a friend’s hair, sorted clothes in her sister’s room and then had dinner together.
Also during this time, Bird said she asked more questions about Kilburn Hall.
“I was like, ‘Well, where did you come from?’ and she was like, ‘I was in the Kilburn facility.’ And I was like, ‘What is that?’ Cause I don’t know what that is,” Bird said.
“Then the girl said, ‘Oh, it’s like a group home…where you go, where unwanted kids go, and where they do something bad’. And I’m like, ‘Well, what did you do?’ She said that she stole food because she was hungry.”
Bird said she last saw the girl around 10 p.m. on July 2, when her sister said she was going to the home on Waterloo Crescent and the teen would come along.
Bird said she called police to tell them the whereabouts of the accused girl before Cantre’s death. Since she wasn’t physically with the teen at the time of the call, no police cruiser was sent to either the 8th Street or Waterloo Crescent address.
Police spokesperson Alyson Edwards confirmed that Bird’s call came in at 3:33 p.m. on Saturday.
Police are now reviewing the call to see if proper computer checks were made.
Edwards said Bird was told to call back with a “definite address” – one where she was physically with the accused.
Bird said she never made another call, despite spending several more hours with the girl Saturday, because she didn’t feel the police dispatcher was taking the issue seriously.
The province said Tuesday the girl was sentenced to 10 months open custody on December 22, 2015 for break-and-enter with intent, arson damage to property, assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, and robbery with a weapon. That sentence was to be followed with five months of community supervision.
Those charges stem from incidents in North Battleford and Meadow Lake.
The girl had a previous conviction for escaping lawful custody in February 2016, for which she received 60 days in secure custody.
There have been a total of nine escapes from lawful custody from the male and female units at Kilburn Hall Youth Centre for the first six months of 2016.