Calgary parents charged with manslaughter in connection with toddler’s 2021 death

Click to play video: 'Calgary police make arrests in connection with death of 18-month-old child'
Calgary police make arrests in connection with death of 18-month-old child
WATCH: Calgary police have made an arrest in the 2021 death of 18-month-old Gabriel Sinclair-Pasqua. Ina Sidhu reports. – Feb 16, 2023

Calgary police have arrested two parents in relation to the death of a toddler in 2021.

At around 11:20 a.m. on Oct. 5, 2021, police and EMS were called to a home in the 2800 block of 14 Avenue S.E. for reports of an 18-month-old boy in medical distress. Emergency responders found the boy was unresponsive and despite their best efforts, the boy was declared deceased at the scene.

An autopsy identified the boy as Gabriel Sinclair-Pasqua.

Police said detectives launched a “lengthy and complex” investigation, speaking with witnesses and reviewing evidence to determine the events leading up to Sinclair-Pasqua’s death, which was declared a homicide.

Click to play video: 'Loved ones continue search for answers in young Calgary boy’s suspicious death'
Loved ones continue search for answers in young Calgary boy’s suspicious death
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On Thursday, Gabriel’s parents Michael Sinclair, 30, and Sonya Pasqua, 33, were arrested. On Friday, CPS released their names after they were each charged with one count of manslaughter.

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“Investigating the death of a child is incredibly difficult on all first responders and police officers,” Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta said in a statement. “For the past 16 months, we have worked tirelessly to ensure that those responsible for Gabriel’s death were held accountable.

“Our deepest condolences go out to those who continue to grieve Gabriel’s loss.”

Global News had previously learned the boy was living with extended family in Taber, Alta., shortly after his birth.

They said Sinclair-Pasqua was returned to Calgary to live with his parents a few months before his death.

Click to play video: 'Police investigating suspicious death of toddler in southeast Calgary'
Police investigating suspicious death of toddler in southeast Calgary

News of the arrests and pending charges came as a surprise to the family.

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“There’s a lot of relief involved. There’s also a lot of anxiety. Unfortunately, we’re going to find out how he passed away when we have a meeting with detectives,” said Gerry Bakoway, Sinclair-Pasqua’s great uncle who cared for the infant in Taber.

“I’m not sure when that’s going to be, but we have been warned that it’s devastating news.”

Bakoway said it’s been a tough 16 months having to wait to hear if and how the investigation would conclude.

“It’s been no no fun at all. I don’t wish this on anyone,” he said. “It’s been terrible not knowing… how he suffered, if he did suffer at all. The not knowing part of it has been terrible.

“I wish I could give him one more hug.”

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