Man accused of killing 2 girls tried to conceal bodies: police
EDMONTON The bodies of two little girls found in a southeast Edmonton apartment Wednesday were only discovered under a pile of household items after a second search of the suite, Edmonton police said Friday.
Their bodies were concealed by the man accused in their deaths, acting Staff Sgt. Terrie Affolder said. Police have not yet released the ages of the children.
Publicly available court records identify the man as Ashton Brian Lafleche. The 29-year-old briefly appeared in court Friday morning via CCTV from the Edmonton Remand Centre.
Lafleche is the biological father of one of the girls, Affolder said, and did not live with them.
“The children were subsequently located, deceased, in a room in the suite that was being used as a storage room. Their bodies were found concealed under piles of various household items.”
Lafleche, who police refused to identify in the news conference because they said it “served no investigative purpose,” is charged with two counts of second-degree murder and aggravated assault.
Affolder said police did not want to release information that could identify a domestic violence complainant.
Court documents name the children as Mackenzie Petawaysin and Mary Lafleche Petawaysin. Their mother, Tamara Petawaysin, is the woman he is accused of assaulting.
Lafleche is also charged with breach of probation for contacting Petawaysin. Court records show he was recently released from jail after pleading guilty to breaching conditions of a recognizance.
Some of the disturbing details were released at Edmonton police headquarters during a Friday news conference.
Results of the children’s autopsies conducted Friday morning are expected from the medical examiner Monday.
Police were called to an apartment in the area of 79 Avenue and 71 Street in the King Edward Park neighbourhood Wednesday afternoon for a report that a woman had been assaulted.
“Information was that a female was being chased by a male outside and that she appeared to have been assaulted,” Affolder said.
That’s when police went to the Allen Manor apartment at 7920 71 St. for the first time and searched the unit without finding the children. The woman was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
About three hours later, police were called to a garage break-in a few blocks away, at 73 Street and 80 Avenue, and found an unclothed man who was reportedly acting erratically.
Officers determined that the man was a suspect in the earlier assault and arrested him. Further investigations led police back to an apartment where the kids were found dead, concealed in what appeared to be a storage room in the unit.
“The location of the children was unknown at the time," Affolder said. “In the early stages of the investigation we did not know where those children were.”
Lafleche has a previous criminal record that includes charges of violence against Petawaysin.
On multiple occasions, he had been ordered by a court to stay away from her.
Lafleche was due in court in Morinville on Dec. 18 for a preliminary hearing on counts of robbery and breaching probation.
Lafleche is due back in court on Dec. 21.
A memorial for two children sits outside an apartment building at 71 Street in Edmonton on Friday.