A woman now living in Manitoba has been criminally charged in connection with the death of her baby in New Westminster, B.C. almost two years ago.
Karma Lee Dyck, 40, is accused of manslaughter, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, and failing as a parent to provide the necessaries of life to a child identified on court documents as K.P.
“It’s really sad,” said Amanda Dugray, a mother and resident of the building where the tragedy unfolded.
“It’s really just tragic to think that the child died.”
In a July 29, 2021 news release, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said it was investigating the death of a one-year-old in New Westminster.
New Westminster police responded to a call for an unresponsive infant in the 1300-block of 5th Avenue at around 4:20 a.m. on July 24, 2021, according to IHIT.
“It was in the middle of the night, the ambulance came and she (Dyck) was screaming and they took her away and they were unable to help the child and then the coroner came,” DuGray recalled.
When police determined there were “suspicious circumstances around the death,” IHIT was called in.
Almost nineteen months later, charges were sworn against Dyck on Feb. 27.
“I feel like I’m going to be sick, it’s horrible,” DuGray told Global News in an interview.
“It’s very disturbing and I hope she gets the help she needs.”
The four offences allegedly occurred over a 26-day period from June 29, 2021 to July 24, 2021 at or near New Westminster.
“It seems to suggest that there were wounds on the infant,” said criminal lawyer Ravi Hira K.C. of the indictment against Dyck.
“The weapons charge seems to suggest that.”
He said infant deaths are very difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, and the Crown usually relies on a combination of evidence including autopsy reports to establish the timing of the death.
“It’s not unusual to see the Crown charge in a manner that allows for a larger period of time than the actual period of time when the event occurred because they don’t know the actual period of time yet,” Hira said in an interview Friday.
Hira, who is not connected to the case, said the charges against Dyck suggest the timing of K.P.’s death may have been as early as June 29 or 30, 2021.
Dyck was released from custody on Feb. 28 and ordered to abide by 10 conditions at her Winnipeg address, including no contact with four individuals, not consuming drugs or alcohol and not possessing any weapons.
The BC Prosecution Service said Dyck failed to appear in New Westminster court as scheduled on May 17, and the appearance was adjourned to June 7, when court records indicate there will be an application for a warrant.
Global News reached out to IHIT on Thursday for more details on the investigation, but did not receive a response.
DuGray, who now has a three-month-old son, said she wishes she could have done more before the tragedy.
“She (Dyck) was always friendly and stuff and you don’t want to think the worst in people but it just gives everyone the chills and makes you know that if you see something you should say something,” she said.
“I wish I would have called the ministry or done something.”
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