On April 27, 2015, members of the Winnipeg Police Service Child Abuse Unit entered into an investigation regarding a two month old female who was admitted to hospital with injuries considered to be suspicious in origin.
On April 28, 2015, the infant succumbed to extensive injuries which were sustained while at a residence in the River Park South area of the City.
A lengthy investigation ensued which involved multiple interviews and results of a detailed post-mortem examination.
On September 1, 2015, charges of 2nd degree murder were authorized against the child’s biological mother who was identified as Mervat Azmy Dimitry (44) years.
Dimitry was arrested due to her alleged involvement and remanded into custody.
The infant child is the 17th murder victim reported in Winnipeg this year.
Police did not disclose the nature of the child’s injuries or the official cause of death.
All but two of the homicides recorded this year have been solved.
(Solvency rate 88%)
CBC news reports Child & Family Services were notified and apprehended two other children reported to be between the ages of 4 – 6 years who were living in the subject residence.
CBC news also reports the children’s father indicated Dimitry had postpartum depression and many people were aware she was having difficulty coping with her situation. The man is reported to have said his wife is not a killer.
On July 24, 2013, members of the Winnipeg Police Service investigated the deaths of two children who were killed by their mother at a Westwood residence.
The body of the children’s mother, Lisa Gibson (32), was subsequently found in the treacherous waters of the Red River.
The case was classified as murder / suicide.
Postpartum psychosis and postpartum depression were central themes in the media surrounding the case.
Who makes the decision to lay charges?
In highly sensitive cases like these people often ask who makes the decision to lay charges.
In all murder cases that occur in Winnipeg, members of the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), or in the event of a child death, members of the Child Abuse Unit (CAU) conduct a detailed and thorough investigation.
These investigations involve lengthy and detailed interviews with any witness who may provide information determined to be germane to the case.
The investigation will also include the results of a detailed post-mortem examination and report that will have fully documented all injuries sustained by the deceased and will contain conclusions regarding the manner and cause of death.
(Homicide cases can be extremely complex and often have multiple avenues of investigation.)
In this case, the Forensic Pathologist concluded foul play was involved in the infants death.
All of the details of the Police investigation and Forensic Pathologists report would have been communicated to a Senior Crown Attorney with the Public Prosecution Branch of Manitoba who is responsible for determining the following:
1) Is a prosecution of the case in the public interest
2) Is there a reasonable likelihood of conviction
If these standards are met, the Senior Crown Attorney contacts the Police Agency responsible for the investigation and authorizes charges.
The Winnipeg Police Service does not lay murder charges without prior authorization from the Department of Justice.
Previous dates when Winnipeg recorded the (17th) homicide of the year;
2014 – August 25
2013 – Sept 4
2012 – June 20
2011 – June 26 (Record Year – 41 Homicides)
2010 – Sept 3
2009 – July 25
2008 – June 29
2007 – Aug 30
2006 – Oct 21
2005 – Aug 20
2004 – Aug 1 (Previous Record Year – 34 Homicides) (100% solvency)