2 charged with murder of 6-year-old Hesquiaht child in Port Alberni, B.C.

·3 min read
Two people have been charged with first-degree murder after an investigation into the death of 6-year-old Dontay-Patrick Lucas in 2018 in Port Alberni B.C., according to Mounties. (Submitted by Patrick Lucas - image credit)
Two people have been charged with first-degree murder after an investigation into the death of 6-year-old Dontay-Patrick Lucas in 2018 in Port Alberni B.C., according to Mounties. (Submitted by Patrick Lucas - image credit)

More than four years after the suspicious death of six-year-old Dontay Patrick Lucas in Port Alberni, B.C. on Vancouver Island, police say two people have been charged his murder.

"It's very emotional," said the boy's father Patrick Lucas on Saturday. "I've been fighting for this for four years. Fifty months to be exact."

Dontay Lucas, who is of Hesquiaht descent, was found in medical distress in a Port Alberni home on March 13, 2018 and rushed to hospital, but did not survive.

Up until now, no arrests had been made in the case.

On Saturday, Port Alberni RCMP said that 28-year-old Rykel Frank (née Charleson) and 29-year-old Mitchell Frank have been charged with first-degree murder.

"These investigations are difficult for everyone involved, and we understand the length of time that it has taken to get to this point has been challenging for the community," said Insp. Eric Rochette in a statement.

Mother and stepfather charged, says father

Patrick Lucas said that Rykel Frank is his former partner and the mother of Dontay Lucas, while Mitchell Frank is the boy's stepfather.

Patrick Lucas said he was married to Rykel Frank for around 10 years. The couple had three children together according to Lucas. He also said he grew up in the same community as Mitchell Frank.

The boy attended Port Alberni's Haahuupayak Elementary School, which was closed for three days following news of Lucas's death.

At the time, police released little information about the death other than to say officers attended a home on Port Alberni after receiving a report of a child in medical distress.

Mounties called the death suspicious and appealed for information from the community.

Wanted to be a fireman

Patrick Lucas along with two of his sisters and his mother spoke to CBC News on Saturday about how Dontay wanted to be a fireman when he grew up.

They said it's been a long and painful ordeal trying to get justice for his death.

"It is a huge relief," said Dontay's grandmother Judy Campbell about the murder charges.

"We've been fighting for a long time for this to actually happen. When I got the call yesterday, I couldn't help but just cry."

Submitted by Patrick Lucas
Submitted by Patrick Lucas

Dontay's aunt Melissa Lucas said the family has suffered over the death of her nephew and long criminal investigation.

"There's not a day that goes by where I don't think about him. There is a lot of stress, a lot of frustration built up, so much anger."

Rykel Frank and Mitchell Frank are expected to appear at the Port Alberni Law Courts on Wednesday.

More information about the charges and the investigation is expected at a news conference at the Port Alberni RCMP on Monday morning at 10 a.m. PT, according to the police statement.

Patrick Lucas said he is upset over how long the investigation took to result in charges and that more could have been done to prevent his son's death.

"Everybody that is involved, was involved, should be accountable ... we need a better ... justice system."

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