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RCMP defend investigation after mother, stepfather charged in 6-year-old Port Alberni boy’s death

Click to play video: 'Mother and stepfather charged with murder in child’s death' Mother and stepfather charged with murder in child’s death
The biological mother and stepfather of 6 year-old Don-Tay-Patrick Lucas have been charged with first degree murder in his March 2018 death. Kylie Stanton reports. – May 9, 2022

It took four years for charges to be laid in the death of a six-year-old boy on Vancouver Island because of the volume of evidence, RCMP say.

On March 13, 2018, Mounties had been called to a Port Alberni home and found Don-Tay-Patrick Lucas in medical distress. He later died in hospital, and police deemed the death suspicious.

On Saturday, the RCMP announced that Rykel Frank (née Charleson), Don-Tay’s mother, and Mitchell Frank, his stepfather, had been charged with first-degree murder.

Family members and the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council said they were relieved charges had been laid, but wanted to know why it had taken so long.

Click to play video: 'Mother and stepfather charged with first-degree murder in Port Alberni boy’s death' Mother and stepfather charged with first-degree murder in Port Alberni boy’s death
Mother and stepfather charged with first-degree murder in Port Alberni boy’s death – May 8, 2022

Read more: Two charged with first-degree murder in 2018 death of 6-year-old Port Alberni boy

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“We understand and appreciate the continued cries for answers from the public and from Don-Tay’s family as we turned every stone to follow every investigative avenue,” Const. Richard Johns told a news conference on Monday morning, adding officers reviewed hours of video, spoke with dozens of witnesses, and reviewed cell phone data and reports from other agencies while working the “complicated” case.

“These investigations are long and there’s a lot of evidence that we have to put into place,” he said.

Don-Tay’s cause of death was not released.

The Franks remain in custody and are scheduled to appear in court again on Wednesday.

Editor’s note: This is a corrected story. A previous version carried the incorrect spelling for the boy’s first name and incorrect name of the RCMP constable. 

Click to play video: 'Alberni RCMP hold a press conference on the murder of 6 year old Don-Tay-Patrick Lucas' Alberni RCMP hold a press conference on the murder of 6 year old Don-Tay-Patrick Lucas
Alberni RCMP hold a press conference on the murder of 6 year old Don-Tay-Patrick Lucas – May 9, 2022

 

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