Police seek more information into child’s death, vigil planned at Harbour Quay Friday

Eric Plummer, April 6, 2018

A candlelight vigil for a six-year-old boy who died on March 13 is planned in Port Alberni Friday evening at the Harbour Quay. (Frank Malawski/Wikimedia Commons photo)

Port Alberni — 

Three weeks after the death of a six-year-old boy, the Port Alberni RCMP are yet to determine what exactly led to the tragic incident.

The boy passed on March 13, leading investigators to reemphasize the importance of information from the public. The RCMP have informed the Ha-Shilth-Sa that police are “willing to meet people at any preferred location with the police officer wearing civilian clothing.”

“We are imploring anyone who has any information about this tragic death or who’ve since learned anything that may help investigators, to do the right thing and come forward,” stated Corp. Amelia Hayden in a statement released by the Port Alberni RCMP.

The boy had family connections to the Ahousaht and Hesquiaht communities. On Friday the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council issued a statement from President Judith Sayers and Vice-President Andrew Callicum stressing the need for anyone with information to assist the police.

“We urge anyone who has any details, no matter how seemingly insignificant, to please do the right thing and contact the RCMP,” said Sayers and Callicum.

At approximately 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 13 police responded to a report of a child in medical distress at a Port Alberni home. The six-year old was transported to hospital, but did not survive.

“The child’s death is being treated as suspicious and the investigation is ongoing,” read a March 27 statement from the Port Alberni RCMP. “Police believe that there are people who have information regarding the death of this child.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Const. Carroll of the Port Alberni RCMP at 250-723-2424 or Alberni Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477(TIPS).

The tragedy has resonated throughout Nuu-chah-nulth communities. The six-year-old attended Haahuupayak Elementary School on the Tseshaht reserve, and after hearing of the incident classes were cancelled for the rest of the week before the March break out of respect for the family.

Tonight (April 6) a candlelight vigil is planned at the Harbour Quay to remember the young boy. The event starts at 7:30 p.m., and participants are asked to bring candles, glow sticks for children or flowers for a memorial. According to a Facebook post announcing the event, for those who would like to speak there will be opportunity for anyone to share their memories and feelings about the young boy. A release of lanterns is also planned at 8 p.m. at the quay.