Inquest called into July 2020 deaths of P.E.I. woman and daughter, 9

·2 min read
The bodies of Danielle White and her daughter Olivia Rodd were found in July 2020 in their home on Lilac Avenue in Charlottetown. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)
The bodies of Danielle White and her daughter Olivia Rodd were found in July 2020 in their home on Lilac Avenue in Charlottetown. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)

A coroner's inquest has been called into the sudden deaths of a mother and her daughter last year in the Sherwood neighbourhood of Charlottetown.

The process involves a jury and will take five days, starting Dec. 6, 2021.

Chris Montigny, a lawyer who is acting on behalf of the investigating coroner in this case, said six jurors will be appointed.

"Their job, or their mandate, isn't to make findings of guilt or culpability," he said. "Their mandate is to make findings as to how we can improve things in the future and how we can notify people in P.E.I. about dangerous practices or conditions."

He said the evidence may be unsettling to jurors and family members alike.

Charlottetown police had earlier called the incident a case of murder-suicide in which past mental-health issues were a factor.

Officers alerted by a call from a concerned relative found the bodies in a Sherwood duplex on July 18, 2020.

They later told the media that Danielle White, 47, and her nine-year-old daughter Olivia Rodd may have died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Brad MacConnell, now Charlottetown's police chief, said at the time officers had gone to the home in the spring of that year, related to White's mental health.

"We do have a mental-health crisis in our nation, in our province and in our city — and that really needs to be the focus of the incident," MacConnell said. "And certainly the tragic loss of this nine-year-old."

Julien LeCacheur/CBC News
Julien LeCacheur/CBC News

The goal of the inquest at P.E.I. Supreme Court is to examine the circumstances around the deaths and make recommendations aimed at preventing future deaths.

The jury will hear testimony from witnesses — including police who responded and others involved in the case.

A Crown prosecutor will lay out evidence and call witnesses.

After the jury makes its recommendations, it will be up to the provincial government to decide whether to take action on some or all of them.

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