A 39-year-old woman has been arrested and charged in the 2017 death of her four-year-old son.
Lisa Strickland was arrested in Newfoundland and charged with manslaughter in the death of her son, Kane Driscoll.
He was found dead inside a Hamilton home on the morning of September 27, 2017.
Hamilton police say officers and EMS arrived on scene within minutes of receiving a 911 call regarding an unresponsive child. They say the Kane was found “obviously deceased” when they arrived.
In a news release, police say Kane was born with a number of medical issues resulting in several major operations and many months of hospitalization. However, police said it appeared Kane had overcome the worst of his challenges and had recently started junior kindergarten.
Police say the initial investigation did not reveal signs of foul play and Kane’s parents were cooperative with police. A post-mortem determined no anatomical cause of death but in December 2017, the results from a toxicology test came back and showed a lethal dose of drugs in Kane’s system.
The boy’s cause of death was deemed to be from drug poisoning and police launched a homicide investigation on December 17, 2017. Police said they did not notify the public the child’s death was being investigated as a murder “for strategic and investigative purposes.”
Two months later, Kane’s parents were notified they were suspects in their son’s death. After seeking legal advice, they did not cooperate further with police.
Following a lengthy investigation which focused on the medical records of Kane and his parents, police say they formed reasonable grounds to charge the boy’s mother with manslaughter.
Hamilton police say they learned Strickland was pregnant with another child and notified the Hamilton Children’s Aid Society (CAS) about the current homicide investigation.
“As a result, CAS decided to apprehend the newborn and notified area hospitals to alert them when Lisa Strickland delivered the baby,” said Hamilton police in a news release.
In October 2017, CAS learned Strickland had left Ontario and given birth to the child in Newfoundland. The organization contacted the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development in Newfoundland and arranged for the baby to be taken into custody.
On Feb. 6, Hamilton police officers travelled to Bonavista, Newfoundland and Strickland was arrested and charged.
She made a brief court appearance in Newfoundland before returning to Ontario on Feb. 7.
Strickland was scheduled to appear at Hamilton’s John Sopinka Court House Friday morning.
Hamilton police Det. Sgt. Peter Thom held a news conference to provide further detail about the investigation.