April 27, 2016 12:29 pm
Updated: April 27, 2016 7:37 pm

Calgary mother charged in connection with the death of disabled daughter

WATCH ABOVE: A 68-year-old woman has been charged in the death of her developmentally disabled daughter who suffered from chronic medical issues. Nancy Hixt reports.


A 68-year-old woman has been charged in the death of her daughter, who police said didn’t receive the “medical attention she needed” from her mother.

Police and EMS were called to a home on Woodridge Close S.W. early Tuesday morning after a woman was reported to be in medical distress. When crews arrived at around 3 a.m. they found the woman unresponsive, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The woman has been identified as 38-year-old Melissa Couture, who was under the care of her mother, Patricia Couture.

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“Melissa had a developmental disability believed to be cerebral palsy and suffered from chronic medical issues,” Calgary Police Insp. Don Coleman said. “We believe it had been some time since any medical care had been rendered.”

Police confirmed a wheelchair was in the home, and said they believe Melissa was “completely dependent for care.”

“The victim, based on her physical appearance, was in need of medical attention that was not rendered,” Coleman said.

Couture has been charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life and will appear in court Thursday.

A neighbour who said he’s lived in the area for over 30 years referred to Couture as “Pat” and said she’s been a single parent for most of Melissa’s life.

“I would say I don’t know a more dedicated mother than Pat was to Melissa,” John Byers said. “She fought for her to try to get her into regular public school so she could be more integrated into the community.”

“This is a shock to me, because Pat spent her whole life looking after Melissa.”

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