Father charged with 1st-degree murder in deaths of two boys

Father charged with 1st-degree murder in deaths of two boys

BRAMPTON, Ont. — Officers responding to a late-night medical call from a Toronto-area home discovered the bodies of two boys, police said Thursday as they charged the children’s father with murder.

Edwin Bastidas, 52, was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder, Peel Regional Police said.

Const. Heather Cannon said investigators are not seeking any other suspects in the case that has shocked the Brampton, Ont., community where the family lived.

Police have not released the cause of death and said it was not immediately apparent to investigators that they were dealing with homicides.

“When we attended, we didn’t find any obvious signs of trauma to the children,” Cannon said. “It was a little bit later on that it was determined to be a suspicious death in both cases.”

Cannon said someone in the residence called 911 late Wednesday on what was described as a medical call.

The boys, aged nine and 12, were found dead inside the home. Cannon couldn’t say where in the residence they were found, or who else was home at the time.

The deaths occurred on an otherwise quiet suburban street. Neighbours driving to work Thursday paused to peer at the crime scene taped off by police.

Paul Rodrigues said one of his sons knew one of the boys and went to the same school. He also said his wife was good friends with the mother of the children and frequently went for coffee with her.

“I’m just in shock,” Rodrigues said on Thursday.

He called the victims “regular boys” and said their names were Jonathan and Nicholas. They walked their dog and played with his daughter in front of his house, Rodrigues said. An older sister lived in the basement, he said.

Another area resident, Sam Mammen, said the neighbourhood has always been a safe place. He said he didn’t know the family but had seen the boys walking by. “This is the first time something like this has happened,” Mammen said. “Very sad to hear.”

Sudhama Swamy, who also lives nearby, called the occurrence very rare in a “very quiet, lovely neighbourhood” that has three schools and lots of children who walk around or play outside.

“This was unbelievable for me to see something like this happen in this neighbourhood,” Swami said. “This was a very scary thing to see. It’s a little crazy.”

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown called the situation “heart breaking.”

“If this is indeed a case, domestic or familial related homicides, it is unfathomable,” Brown said on Twitter. “As a parent, I just can’t comprehend this. The crisis that led to this is yet unknown. But our whole community is grieving.”

The Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board said the two boys were students at St. Bonaventure Catholic Elementary School, and news of their deaths has saddened the community.

The board said its tragic events response team is at the school to provide support and counselling to students and staff, and the school’s flag is at half-staff “in memory of the two students.”

A letter is being sent to the families of students at the school, and prayers have been offered for the two boys, their loved ones and the entire community, the board said.

Police said the incident marked Peel Region’s 24th and 25th homicides this year.

The double homicide appears unrelated to an Amber Alert issued by Toronto police around midnight for two teens. They were found safe and, police said, a suspect was in custody.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 7, 2019.

Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian Press

Father First Degree Murder

Just Posted

Shanna Lydiard is upset to have had mail delivery cut off last month to her West Park street because of water main reconstruction. Delivery is to resume by May 19 at the latest, according to the City of Red Deer. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Red Deer woman frustrated by mail delivery suspension due to construction

Shanna Lydiard said residents shouldn’t have to drive across the city for their mail

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Devin Dreeshen received his COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday at Jackson’s Pharmacy in Innisfail. (Devin Creeshen Twitter photo)
COVID-19: Most local MLAs have received their first vaccine shot

Alberta’s NDP is encouraging all MLAs to get vaccinated and publicly promote… Continue reading

Alberta continues to wrestle with high COVID-19 case numbers. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer up to 858 active cases of COVID-19

Province reports additional 1,799 cases of the virus

Bo's Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening.
(Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

The Bowden Institution medium security facility near Bowden has 15 active COVID-19 cases. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)
15 active COVID-19 cases at Bowden prison

Bowden Institution has had 36 positive cases this year with 21 recovered and no deaths

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and several members of city council helped kick off the spring Green Deer cleanup campaign on Wednesday. Veer said city workers do their best to keep the city looking good, but need volunteer help to get rid of litter that has blown into bushes onto road sides over the winter. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff)
Red Deer city councillors launch spring Green Deer campaign

Volunteers are needed to keep the city looking good

Philadelphia Flyers' Travis Sanheim (6) and Brian Elliott (37) celebrate with teammates after the Flyers won an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Monday, May 10, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Puck luck? Hockey’s secrecy makes betting on NHL a gamble

Puck luck? Hockey’s secrecy makes betting on NHL a gamble

FILE - John Davidson, left, president of the New York Rangers, and Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton pose at a news conference in New York, in this Wednesday, May 22, 2019, file photo. The New York Rangers abruptly fired president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 with three games left in the season. Chris Drury was named president and GM. He previously served as associate GM under Davidson and Gorton. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
New York Rangers fire coach Dave Quinn, 3 assistants

New York Rangers fire coach Dave Quinn, 3 assistants

Denis Shapovalov, of Canada, returns a shot from Ilya Ivashka, of Belarus, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Wilfredo Lee
Canadian Denis Shapovalov books meeting with Nadal in third round of Italian Open

Canadian Denis Shapovalov books meeting with Nadal in third round of Italian Open

United States goalie Alex Cavallini (33) deflects Canada's Marie Philip Poulin (29) shot during the first period in the women's 3-on-3 game, part of the NHL hockey All-Star weekend, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, in St. Louis. Hockey Canada's roster of players invited to try out for the 2022 Olympic women's hockey team indicates the squad will be experienced up front and less so on the back end. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jeff Roberson
Hockey Canada announces players invited to try out for women’s Olympic team

Hockey Canada announces players invited to try out for women’s Olympic team

Atlanta Braves pitcher Max Fried works against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Hernández 2 HRs as Ryu, Blue Jays improve to 5-0 vs Braves

Hernández 2 HRs as Ryu, Blue Jays improve to 5-0 vs Braves

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) makes a save as Maple Leafs defenceman TJ Brodie (78) and Montreal Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli (73) look for the rebound during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Saturday, May 8, 2021. The Leafs and the Canadiens will meet in the playoffs for the first time in 42 years when the 2020-21 NHL post-season gets underway.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Leafs, Habs will face off in long-awaited playoff rematch, Oilers will face Jets

Leafs, Habs will face off in long-awaited playoff rematch, Oilers will face Jets

Edmonton Oilers' Dominik Kahun (21) scores the winning goal on Montreal Canadiens goaltender Cayden Primeau (30) during overtime NHL hockey action Wednesday, May 12, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Oilers edge Canadiens 4-3 on Dominik Kahun’s overtime winner

Oilers edge Canadiens 4-3 on Dominik Kahun’s overtime winner

FILE - In this Feb. 29, 2020, file photo, National Rifle Association Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre speaks at Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2020, in Oxon Hill, Md. Federal Judge Harlin Hale announced his decision Tuesday, May 11, 2021, to dismiss the National Rifle Association's bankruptcy case over whether the powerful gun-rights group should be allowed to incorporate in Texas instead of New York, after 11 days of testimony and arguments. Lawyers for New York and the NRA's former advertising agency grilled the group's embattled top executive, LaPierre, who acknowledged putting the NRA into Chapter 11 bankruptcy without the knowledge or assent of most of its board and other top officers. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
Judge dismisses NRA bankruptcy case in blow to gun group

Judge dismisses NRA bankruptcy case in blow to gun group

Most Read