'Disturbing' homicide

Mother charged with murder in toddler's death


First posted:

A Sun source said Nicole Redhead was living at the Native Women's Transition Centre at the time of her daughter' s death. (Facelook.com)

City police have charged a 27-year-old woman with murder in the death of her 20-month-old daughter, the latest young child to die tragically after going through Manitoba's child-welfare system.

No one would say when toddler Jaylene Sanderson Redhead was reunited with her mother Nicole Redhead, who was arrested late Thursday and is charged with second-degree murder.

Jaylene Redhead was once in the care of a Child and Family Services agency but was returned to her mother, a source said yesterday.

Const. Jacqueline Chaput, a police spokeswoman, said the child suffered a form of physical abuse. The child was taken to a Winnipeg hospital and died late June 29.

Chaput was unaware if the abuse occurred that day or over a prolonged period.

Chaput said hospital staff notified police about the toddler's injuries, leading to an investigation by the child abuse unit.

Chaput said the woman was the child's primary caregiver.

"Any time someone is a victim of a homicide it's disturbing. But when it's a child -- children are the most vulnerable members of our society -- it's even more difficult for investigators," Chaput said.

Additional arrests are not anticipated, she said.

Chaput said the child suffered the injuries at a location in the North End.

A source said Nicole Redhead was living in a suite at the Native Women's Transition Centre.

A lawyer from the centre declined comment. The centre provides care and support for aboriginal women and their children, according to its website.

Nicole Redhead's mother declined to comment when reached at her home on Shamattawa First Nation in northern Manitoba.

Redhead's case was handled by Awasis Agency, a source said. Awasis did not return a call seeking comment.

Carolyn Loeppky, the assistant deputy minister for Child and Family Services, said the correct processes and procedures were followed in the child's case.

Loeppky said the agency, First Nations of Northern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority, and Children's Advocate will do their own reviews.

Jaylene Redhead's funeral took place Monday. An obituary described her as a "precious" and "happy" girl.

"She loved to eat and also loved to hear stories from any kind of book that she could find in the house," the obituary stated. "She also loved to play with toys that played music. She also loved to cuddle and go for walks."

Jaylene Redhead is survived by her father, two brothers, a sister and several other relatives, the obituary stated.

She is the city's 14th homicide victim of 2009 and the youngest this year.