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Winnipeg family seeks answers in baby’s death in CFS care

Baby Matias de Antonia.
Baby Matias de Antonia. Family handout

WINNIPEG – A Winnipeg family is grieving the death of their baby boy and demanding answers from provincial child care officials.

Matias de Antonia, four weeks old, passed away on March 27. His family says Matias was in the custody of Manitoba Child and Family Services at the time of his death.

“They were very rough with my family,” the boy’s uncle Carlos Burgos told Global News Tuesday. “They didn’t give us the opportunity to show we could raise Matias. They took the baby away from our sister, from us.”

CFS seized Matias at birth, and the child died in foster care four weeks later. The family says they have been given no information on how the child died. A provincial spokesperson refused to comment on the case or provide any information.

Winnipeg police investigated the death but that yielded no answers either.

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“I can confirm that we were involved in a sudden death investigation … which is now complete,” police spokesperson Const. Jason Michalyshen said in an email to Global News. “No charges will be laid.”

The office of Manitoba’s medical examiner will only say it investigates all child deaths and won’t comment on this case.

“I’m not against CFS at all. CFS is there it help people. It’s just some people, they don’t know how to do their jobs properly,” Burgos said.

Burgos said CFS was worried about the child’s mother Maria Herriera and her ability to care for him. The family disagreed, saying Herreira had no history of mental illness and showed no neglect while pregnant.

The family’s roots are in Colombia and their first language is Spanish. Burgos said Herriera has been in Canada for six years and is a permanent resident.