First responders responded to a call about an unresponsive child at the Falcon Motel in Duncan on Friday April 9.
North Cowichan Duncan RCMP officers and paramedics from B.C. Emergency Health Services worked to resuscitate the six-year-old, but the child was later pronounced dead in hospital.
RCMP and the B.C. Coroners Service are investigating.
“We didn’t know what was going on at first, just heard some sirens, and to our surprise, the sirens were coming here,” said Valma Sampson, manager at Falcon Nest Motel. “I was watching them give CPR, and it didn’t even look like she had any life in her body already. It’s hard to unsee.”
Sampson said she often works with agencies to provide housing for families who need it. This was was one such a case, with, Sampson believes, the local First Nations family arriving just at the end of March.
“This family is one of those families that I’ve placed here. I worked it out with their workers: they need a placement temporarily until they find something more suitable. They were not even here a few weeks.”
The family was never a problem at the motel, and Sampson had thought it included a newborn and a toddler but didn’t know about the older child.
“I thought there was only two kids up there. I didn’t know the older child was there. I never had any problems with this family. They were quiet, they kept to themselves. It’s just a really sad situation.”
Sampson and her husband have a five-year-old who often plays with children living at the motel but she had never played with the child who died.
RCMP were at the motel on Sunday.
“You come across all these things in motel management, and this is a first for me,” Sampson said. “It feels really heavy around here lately. We just hope that the family and the ones who love those babies can find the truth in this. It’s a really sad situation.”
-With files from Kevin Rothbauer
The Canadian Press
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