APTN National News
Edmonton police (EPS) have charged a 26-year-old man and 25-year-old woman with second-degree murder in connection with the death of a toddler found dead on Friday.
Local media reports state that Raine’s father Joseph (Joey) Crier and Tasha Mack have also been charged with criminal negligence causing death, assault and failure to provide the necessities of life.
Crier also faces a count of assault causing bodily harm.
The body of a 19-month-old boy was found near a church in the city’s northeast Friday afternoon.
The toddler has been identified as Anthony Joesph Raine by his Aunt’s via a Facebook page.
Police said someone passing the Good Shepard Anglican Church on Friday afternoon noticed children’s clothing on the ground. But upon further inspection found the deceased toddler.
On Friday evening police released photos of the clothes the infant was wearing in an effort to identify him.
Then on Saturday afternoon police again sought the public’s help to identify two “persons of interest” that were captured walking into a nearby grocery store pushing a stroller. They believed the two were connected to the death.
By Saturday evening police arrested Crier and Mack.
Raine’s mother is from the Louis Bull Tribe in Maskwacis and was notified by police about the death of her son on Saturday evening.
Raine’s aunt’s started a memorial page on Facebook where thousands of people have joined posting messages of support for the Raine family.
The aunt’s also created a Go Fund Me campaign to help with costs of the funeral. The post reads that Raine was not yet registered with Louis Bull Band and did not qualify for financial help with the funeral. As of Monday morning, almost $7,000 has been raised.
An autopsy was scheduled Monday morning and a wake is planned at the Louis Bull recreation center in the evening.
Both of the accused are in custody at the Edmonton Remand Centre.
EPS is holding a press conference at its headquarters at 3pm MT.