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B.C. mother who murdered 8-year-old daughter dies in prison

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Warning: This story contains disturbing details

A British Columbia mother who was convicted of killing her eight-year-old daughter by smothering her with a plastic bag has died in prison.

The Correctional Service of Canada says Lisa Batstone died in custody at the Fraser Valley Institution in Abbotsford, B.C., on Monday.

Batstone had been serving an indeterminate life sentence for the second-degree murder of Teagan Batstone since September 2019.

The B.C. Court of Appeal struck down Batstone's appeal for a reduced sentence in May 2022 after rejecting her earlier attempt to overturn her conviction in October 2021.

The correctional service says it is reviewing the circumstances of Batstone's death, adding that her next of kin has been notified.

Chris Szafron, assistant warden for management services at the Fraser Valley Institution, said the prison was unable to provide details about how Batstone died.

"We do a review of the circumstances, and because it was very recent we're not able to provide any initial information about cause of death or anything else," he said Wednesday.

Teagan's body was found in the back of a car in South Surrey on Dec. 10, 2014.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge found Batstone intended to smother her daughter before killing herself, but she ultimately could not follow through with the suicide.

The judge said Batstone did not want Teagan to be with her father after her suicide and therefore killing her daughter was a selfish act intended to hurt her ex-husband.

'NO CAUSE FOR MOURNING,' FATHER SAYS

Justice Catherine Murray said although Batstone was likely suffering from depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder at the time, her mental issues did not significantly mitigate her moral culpability.

The judge also said Batstone left notes in her home blaming her ex-husband for the murder and she told several lies to psychiatrists because she hoped to be found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.

Ex-husband Gabe Batstone told CTV News on Wednesday that the death of his daughter's killer means the family no longer has to endure the prospect of her potential release from incarceration.

"The death of Lisa Batstone, the convicted murderer of our beloved daughter Teagan, brings no cause for mourning from us," he said. "Her death does not erase the pain and loss of Teagan, whose absence is felt every day. Nothing can bring our precious daughter back, and this unalterable truth weighs heavily on our hearts."

The father said the news of Lisa's death felt like "a significant burden has been lifted," and added that "the safety of our family and community from a convicted child murderer is now assured, bringing a substantial relief amidst our enduring grief."  

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Lisa Steacy and The Canadian Press

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