On January 4, 2014 the Saskatoon Police Service issued a media release indicating they were investigating a Homicide that occurred during the early morning hours.
At approximately 5:30 am, Police received a 911 call from a residence in the 400 block of Avenue R South, stating a child was injured. On arrival, Police Officers located a five (5) year old boy who was pronounced deceased at the scene. Three (3) other people were in the home at the time of Police arrival.
The case was investigated by the SPS Major Crimes Unit with assistance provided by their Forensic Identification Unit.
The name of the victim was not provided at the time of the press release.
On January 6, 2014, the SPS advised they charged Kellie Johnson (35) with First Degree Murder in the killing. Johnson was remanded into custody and will appear in court on January 6, 2014.
The victim was identified as Johnathan Vetter (5) years of age.
Police have not clarified what, if any, relationship Johnson may have had with the victim in this matter.
The investigations into the murder of children are always emotionally challenging and difficult. Investigators who work these cases are forced to divorce themselves from normal human emotions and focus on the task of solving the heinous crime. Bringing the responsible party to justice becomes the focus of all conscious thought and investigative efforts.
While all murders are tragic events, the killing of children strikes a chord that runs deep inside all of us.
It’s simply not possible to work these cases without suffering some type of emotional impact. Whether you suffer flashbacks from graphic visual imagery, sleep disruption, anxiety, stress or the loss of faith in humanity, you will be affected.
Investigators who work these cases simply have to learn how to deal with the emotional trauma they experience while working these horrific cases.
Although, these emotional impacts are rarely discussed in the workplace, PTSD and the emotional trauma associated with the dark side of Policing are becoming widely recognized as occupational health concerns.
In 2013, the SPS Major Crimes Unit investigated a total of four (4) homicides.