Couple charged in child’s death targeted over belief in natural medicine: family

RAYMOND — A relative of an Alberta couple charged after a toddler died of meningitis thinks the family’s belief in nutritional supplements is behind an “overzealous” prosecution.

RAYMOND — A relative of an Alberta couple charged after a toddler died of meningitis thinks the family’s belief in nutritional supplements is behind an “overzealous” prosecution.

David and Collet Stephan have been charged with failing to provide the necessities of life for their 19-month-old son, Ezekiel.

The child died nearly a year ago and RCMP charged the couple this week. The 29-year-old man and 32-year-old woman, from the town of Glenwood, are to appear in Lethbridge court in May.

“Whatever’s going on here stinks,” the man’s brother Brad Stephan said Thursday. “I don’t see anybody else getting charged for having meningitis.

“I almost have to wonder if we don’t have an officer somewhere or someone just acting overzealous … We just feel this is just really over the top and we’re not understanding why.”

It’s unclear whether Mounties are alleging the couple didn’t act quickly enough to get their son proper medical treatment. The RCMP have simply said the boy fell ill in February 2012 and it wasn’t until March 13, when he stopped breathing, that his parents called for an ambulance.

Family said officers questioned the couple for hours after they arrived at Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. The boy was placed on life-support machines and died five days later.

An autopsy confirmed he had a bacterial infection that spread into his bloodstream and lungs, causing meningitis, Brad Stephan said. Meningitis symptoms, such as fever and rash, can at first appear mild but quickly escalate. The condition can be fatal within a few hours.

Brad Stephan said the couple loved their son. They simply didn’t know he was so sick.

The curly-haired tyke had developed a cough but he appeared to be getting better. Hours before he stopped breathing, he was an active little boy, said his uncle.

“He was playing with his dad. He was eating. Everything seemed good.”

Just Posted

Smaller, more affordable, lots wanted in Red Deer’s Evergreen neighbourhood

Council approves first reading of requested lot-size changes

Political shifts, sales slump cast shadow over gun industry

When gunmakers and dealers gather this week in Las Vegas for the… Continue reading

Yellow vests in Canada bear no resemblance to protesters in France: ambassador

OTTAWA — Canada’s ambassador to France says this country’s yellow-vest protest movement… Continue reading

China demands U.S. withdraw request for Canada to extradite Huawei executive

BEIJING — China issued fresh demands Tuesday that the U.S. abandon its… Continue reading

Health Canada ready to unveil newly revamped Canada Food Guide

OTTAWA — Canadians will finally see Health Canada’s modern spin on healthy… Continue reading

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps may need to stock up on maple… Continue reading

China demands US drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

China detained two Canadians on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng

Rugby Canada Hall of Fame a family affair for hard-nosed forward Hans de Goede

Hans de Goede, a hard-nosed lock forward who captained Canada at the… Continue reading

5 burning questions ahead of the Oscar nominations

NEW YORK — The Oscars still don’t have a host, but on… Continue reading

‘Bao,’ ‘Animal Behaviour,’ ‘Weekends’ among Canadian Oscar nominees

LOS ANGELES — Several Canadians have landed Oscar nominations. The category for… Continue reading

9 brains, 3 hearts: Some wild facts about octopuses

Things to know about the giant Pacific octopus, which is naturally found in the waters of the U.S. West coast, the Aleutian Islands and Japan

Hollywood announces 2019 Oscar nominations

Netflix has scored its first best picture nomination, something the streaming giant has dearly sought

Opinion: Faith in immigration must be preserved

Canada has a deserved reputation for extending its arms to newcomers, but… Continue reading

Most Read