Charges laid after 2-year-old killed by snake venom in North Vancouver

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Charges have been laid nearly five years after a two-year-old Aleka Esa-Bella Scheyk Gonzales was poisoned and killed by snake venom in North Vancouver.

RCMP said Henry Thomas, 51, had the girl in his care on May 18, 2014 and returned her to her mother that same day.

Hours later, at 5 a.m., the child’s mother phoned RCMP and said the toddler was dead.

A statement said Mounties searched Thomas’ home in Agassiz and seized snakes and « related equipment » in July 2015.

Further biological DNA testing was run in 2016 and 2017, confirming the two-year-old’s cause of death.

Thomas, 51, was arrested at his home on Friday. He’s 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 Supt. Chris Kennedy, the officer in charge of the North Vancouver RCMP. 

« Our condolences are extended to the family and community of the deceased child. »

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They saved over $1,000 for football tickets. Then their 2-year-old used the shredder – National

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Ben and Jackee Belnap had spent many months saving money to pay back his parents for fronting cash so they could have University of Utah football season tickets.

The Holladay, Utah couple were all ready to pay them back last weekend, KSL TV reported.

Then fate intervened in the form of their two-year-old son Leo.

They had saved US$1,060 in total, keeping it in a white envelope, according to ABC 7.

Then, suddenly, it was gone.

The Belnaps searched their home. Ben was looking in the trash when Jackee said, “I found it.”

Coverage of kids on Globalnews.ca:


There was the money — in pieces, in the shredder, after Leo had put it through the blades.

Naturally, they weren’t happy — but they also found the whole situation hilarious.

“Most people they say, ‘Oh a kid drew crayon on the wall or something,” Ben told ABC.

“I’ve never heard of a kid shredding a grand.”

Shredded money? There’s a government department for that

The Belnaps may yet retrieve their cash, however, according to CNN.

The U.S. Department of Treasury has a Mutilated Currency Division.

They can send the money there, where staff can put it back together.

It may take some time before it’s returned to them, however.

“I called the guy the next morning and he said, ‘Oh, we might be able to help you here,’ and I was shocked,” Ben told KSL TV.

“He said, ‘bag it up in little Ziploc bags, mail it to D.C., and in one to two years, you’ll get your money back.”

The money may be in pieces, but the parents are keeping a sense of humour about the situation.

“We didn’t know what to do and then I broke the silence and then I’m like, ‘Well, this will make a great wedding story one day,” Jackee told KSL TV.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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