CARBONEAR, N.L. — A Newfoundland father has been charged with the first-degree murder of his five-year-old daughter after her body was found in a burned-out home.
Trent Butt, 37, will also face an arson charge in a case that police say has proven difficult for the small communities of Carbonear and Harbour Grace.
“It’s quite stressful for the fire officials, the paramedics and our officers,” said Harbour Grace RCMP Staff Sgt. Howard Gale. “They’re all being affected by it. Nearly everyone in our office has young kids.”
Only a few hours before the fire, Butt had posted a photo of himself with the girl, Quinn, to Facebook, her arm draped around his neck and her head resting against his cheek.
Butt was taken to hospital with serious injuries following the fire at about 5 a.m. Sunday in Carbonear, about an hour outside St. John’s. Gale said he is expected to survive though he couldn’t reveal anything more about his condition.
He said an autopsy was done Monday on Quinn, but that he did not yet have the results.
“We’ve been investigating and we’ve uncovered enough evidence to charge him with first-degree murder and arson,” he said. “We’re confident that the manner of death was a homicide. The actual medical cause of death, we’re still waiting on.”
The fire did extensive damage to the home.
Gale said a judge and other court officials will hold a hearing at the man’s hospital room in St. John’s Tuesday afternoon. He said the proceeding was taking place in hospital because they had only 24 hours for him to appear in court.
Gale expected that Butt will be remanded in custody.