Vigil held in Summerside for boy who died from head injury

·1 min read
The vigil was held under the shade of a tree in front of the courthouse in Summerside, P.E.I. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)
The vigil was held under the shade of a tree in front of the courthouse in Summerside, P.E.I. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)

About two dozen people gathered under the shade of a tree in front of the courthouse in Summerside, P.E.I., on Saturday to commemorate the life of Knox Beairsto-Whitlock, who was two years old when he died from a head injury last August.

On Thursday, following a lengthy investigation, Summerside police announced his death had been ruled accidental and no charges would be laid.

The ruling was based on a report from Nova Scotia's chief medical examiner, who conducted an autopsy on the boy after he was taken off life support at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax.

Those at Saturday's vigil brought teddy bears, flowers and hand-lettered signs.

Organizer Kourtney Mallard said they want more done to protect children like Knox and prevent further tragedies.

Brian Higgins/CBC
Brian Higgins/CBC

"There's a lot of rumour, a lot of misinformation out there, but at the end of the day Knox is gone, and that's the worst," she said.

"I really want people to focus on what could have been done differently, what parts of our system failed, what parts of our system did poor Knox fall through."

Knox's mother, Elysha Whitlock, has told CBC News she felt the vigil was an act of intimidation by people who blame her for what happened.

The family is now asking to be left in peace to grieve and heal.

Brian Higgins/CBC
Brian Higgins/CBC

Summerside police cruisers were driving by the vigil every few minutes and organizers said they were cautioned by police to keep it peaceful.

P.E.I.'s Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has resumed its review of the incident, now that the criminal investigation is complete.

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