Friday , January 22 2021

The six-month and three-year-old girls were stabbed to death, autopsy confirms

An autopsy on the bodies of two little girls found in a southwest Edmonton apartment last week confirmed that the two were stabbed to death.

The father of the youngest girl – aged six months – is accused of a second-degree murder in their deaths. The second girl was three years old. Their mother is still in hospital.

Police released additional details about the shocking case Monday afternoon.

The two were found concealed beneath household items in a storage room of their mother's apartment at 7920 71 St. after police responded to a domestic violence call. The police did not find their bodies during their initial sweep of the apartment.

Police have not released the name of the accused because they said they did not serve an "investigative purpose," police said.

Publicly available court records identify him as Ashton Brian Lafleche. The 29-year-old briefly appeared in court Friday morning via CCTV from the Edmonton Remand Center.

Lafleche is the biological father of one of the girls and did not live with them.

Court documents name the children as Mackenzie Petawaysin and Mary Lafleche Petawaysin. The records showed Lafleche had been ordered on multiple occasions to stay away from their mother, Tamara Petawaysin.

The police responded to a report of a woman who had been assaulted at the apartment around 5:30. Wednesday. They found the woman, Petawaysin, in distress, with serious injuries.

At 8:30 pm Wednesday officers learned an erratic, partially clothed man trying to break into a garage nearby. They tracked him down and he was a suspect in the earlier assault and he was arrested.

After the arrest, the police returned to the house and found the girls' bodies. Speaking to reporters Friday, acting Edmonton Police Staff Sgt. Terrie Affolder said investigators believe the man tried to conceal their remains.

She said they were not identifying the accused to try to protect the identity of a domestic victim complaining.

A memorial to the girls formed outside the apartment after the news broke and grew over the weekend.

By Sunday, more than 15 stuffed animals were placed at the foot of a tree in front of the building, along with candles, flowers, condolence cards and two miniature glass angels.

Lafleche is due in court Dec. 21.

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