'A terrible life, full of violence': Toddler died from head trauma, Edmonton police say

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Baby

Photo from CP via Facebook.

A 19-month-old boy whose body was found outside an Edmonton church last week suffered a life "full of violence" and died from head trauma some time before he was abandoned, police say.

The boy's father and his girlfriend have been charged with second-degree murder. Joseph Crier, 26, and Tasha-Lee Mack, 25, made brief court appearances Monday.

The two were arrested Saturday while riding a transit bus, Staff Sgt. Duane Hunter told a news conference.

Hunter described the killing as a "heinous crime."

He said evidence shows that Anthony Raine was already dead when his body was left outside the Good Shepherd Anglican Church on Tuesday, April 18. The toddler was not found until three days later.

"He was living a terrible life, full of violence, and one that is incredibly sad, and that you don't even want to speak about," Hunter said Monday. "Bruises all over his body, and I'll leave it at that."

Crier and Mack were also charged with criminal negligence causing death and failure to provide the necessaries of life.

Crier is also charged with one count of assault causing bodily harm against his son, between April 14 and April 18, and a separate charge of assault police say happened on or about April 17.

Mack is charged with assaulting the boy on or about April 6.

Both accused were guardians of the toddler, police said.

Anthony's mother, Dalyce Raine, told CBC News on Sunday that Crier had picked up the boy six weeks ago to look after him while she went to nursing school.

The toddler's body was discovered outside Good Shepherd Anglican Church near 155th Avenue and Castle Downs Road on Friday. Police said the body had been there since April 18.

Both Crier and Mack are in custody at the Edmonton Remand Centre.

Crier's and Mack's charges of criminal negligence causing death stems from "failing to seek medical care for serious injuries," police said.

Crier appeared in court Monday via closed-circuit television. Wearing orange coveralls, and with a goatee and blond highlights in his short hair, he kept his arms folded throughout his appearance and looked straight into the camera. 

He was ordered to have no contact with his co-accused. He was also ordered to have no contact with two potential Crown witnesses, identified as Alexa Noseworthy and the boy's mother, Dalyce Raine.

Crier has been ordered to appear in court again on May 8 at 9 a.m. MT.

Mack looked upset when she appeared in front of the CCTV camera. She did not look directly into it, and instead stared at the floor with her arms folded.

A legal aid duty counsel advised Mack to "get hold of legal aid right away. These are really serious charges."

Mack replied "yes" as she appeared to fight back tears.