Written by By Stella Kim, CNN Toronto
Three Canadian parents have been charged in connection with the death of their 21-month-old son in July of last year.
In a news conference held on Thursday, Ontario Provincial Police said the young boy ingested alcohol and drugs before he died in July 2018. According to police, the toddler, identified by family members as Eman El Shawa, was found unresponsive in a children’s bedroom and officers were called to the residence just before 4 a.m. ET. The police declared him dead at the scene.
Both parents and the boy’s babysitter have been charged in connection with his death. Authorities said an autopsy revealed that Eman El Shawa died from a combination of methadone and alcohol. No drugs were found in the rooms where the toddler was found.
In July, the toddler’s paternal grandparents told reporters that the child had been in and out of hospital and that his parents had been under the influence of drugs while he was at home with them.
A lawyer representing the children’s families said at the time that the parents were devastated by the young boy’s death.
“Our hearts break for the entire El Shawa family. They are doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances,” reads a statement on behalf of the family. “Sadly, this young boy won’t be coming home this holiday season.”
According to a police statement on Thursday, officers also suspected the mother of giving methadone to her son.
“Eman El Shawa was charged with the criminal negligence causing death of Eman El Shawa,” reads the police statement. “Sheryl El Hadfy was charged with the criminal negligence causing death of Eman El Shawa. Both Sheryl El Hadfy and Eman El Shawa were released from custody and remain on interim bail.”
CNN has reached out to a spokesperson for the family for comment.