A 51-year-old man from Agassiz, BC has been arrested following the death of a two-year-old child in 2014.
The investigation began in May 18, 2014, when the suspect, Henry Thomas, who had the child in his care, returned the girl to her mother’s residence in North Vancouver that same morning.
At approximately 5 am the next day, the child’s mother reported to the North Vancouver RCMP that her child had died.
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An in-depth police investigation unfolded which involved police Forensic Identification Service (FIS) examinations and assistance from the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).
During the investigation, a search warrant was executed at the Thomas’ residence in July of 2015, where snakes and “related equipment” were seized.
Further biological DNA testing was conducted throughout 2016 and 2017, and confirmed that that snake venom was the cause of death of the two-year-old infant.
An arrest warrant was issued for Thomas and he was arrested without incident on January 18, at his Agassiz home. He has been charged with Failing to Provide the Necessaries of Life.
“This is a very tragic incident that resulted in a complex, unique investigation by police and support agencies,” said North Vancouver RCMP Supt. Chris Kennedy. “Our condolences are extended to the family and community of the deceased child.”
As this matter is before the courts, and to protect the identity of the victim and her family, police said they will not be providing any further details at this time.