Community members are remembering and honouring a newborn baby who was found dead in a Winnipeg garbage bin last month.
The newborn, being called Baby Moar, was the subject of a vigil Wednesday night after news broke that her mother, Jeanene Rosa Moar, 31, is facing manslaughter charges in connection with her death.
The vigil was held in the back lane of Boyd Avenue, where the tragic discovery was made May 3.
Jackeline Black, one of the event’s organizers, says she was shocked to learn this happened in her own neighbourhood.
“The baby was placed in my yard,” Black told Global News.
“I just felt like it was the right thing to do.”
Black said she hopes this helps with the family’s healing and can bring them some closure.
“We’re sorry for their loss. I hope (the vigil) helps with their closure — helps them move on.
“This is an innocent little baby, it’s sad that this is the way she had to go.
“I’m just glad that everybody came together and there’s all these people that cared enough to support this family — wherever they are.”
In addition to the manslaughter charge, the baby’s mother is also facing one count of concealing the body of a child.
According to court documents, Jeanene Moar was convicted in 2018 of stealing from a Liquor Mart and then a car. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail for the thefts.
Court heard she was intoxicated at the time and had an addiction to meth.
A family friend said the latest tragedy comes while the family is dealing with the loss of Moar’s sister, who died earlier this week.
Kristen Kramar, an expert on infanticide at the University of Calgary (formerly of the University of Winnipeg) told 680 CJOB on Wednesday that this kind of incident is not at all common in Canada.
“We’re different from the United States in the sense that we have socialized health care and women do have access to services for pregnancy and childbirth and so on,” Kramar, a sociology professor, said.
“We tend not to have the kinds of social conditions that cause infanticides to increase. That said, there’s one or two every few years in all of Canada, which is a tragedy when it happens, but it’s certainly not something that is very common.”
Kramar said there is likely more to the case that hasn’t been reported, as the information that has been made public so far would seem to warrant a charge of infanticide.
“It does seem to me, on the face of it, to fall perfectly well within the infanticide provision,” she said.
“These are very, very rare cases … which I think is why lawyers and Crowns often don’t get much experience using the provision that’s in the Criminal Code, but (infanticide) has existed in Canadian law since 1948.”
With files from Brittany Greenslade