Victoria toddler’s death sparks preliminary investigation by police watchdog

A file photo of Hotel Zed, where Victoria Police have been on scene investigating the sudden death of a toddler on July 18, 2015.

The death of a 19-month-old boy in Victoria has sparked a preliminary investigation by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C (IIO).

There is no indication that the police were directly involved in the toddler’s death, but the issue is whether the Victoria Police failed to contact the Ministry for Children and Families after having two encounters with the mother and her children. Police say they had two conversations with the child’s mother on Friday.

The conversations took place after they received calls for service from people concerned about the woman’s behaviour, including loud praying inside the mosque. They are still looking for witnesses.

Police were then called to a hotel on Douglas Street around 4 a.m. Saturday for reports of a woman screaming.

Officers entered the room to find a distraught woman, a young child and a 19-month-old without vital signs, who was later pronounced dead at the scene.

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– With files from The Canadian Press