Snake venom poisoning case: Guilty plea in death of toddler
A B.C. man has pleaded guilty to failing to provide necessaries of life in the case of a toddler who died of apparent snake venom poisoning.
In an email to CTV News Vancouver Friday morning, the Crown confirmed Henry Thomas entered the plea the day before.
He is scheduled to appear in North Vancouver court for sentencing on Oct. 3.
The plea came several years after young Aleka Esa-Bella Scheyk Gonzales died.
Thomas was arrested earlier this year by North Vancouver RCMP, who provided few details on the case at the time.
The Agassiz resident had the two-year-old in his care on May 18, 2014, but officials have not said how he was connected to the girl.
He returned her to her mother in North Vancouver that day, and she was dead by the next morning.
An in-depth investigation determined snake venom was her cause of death, RCMP said back in January.
However, at the time, the BC Coroners Service had not made the cause official.
"RCMP have said they suspect venom is related to the death, but the official answer will come from the coroners service. The coroners service won't conclude their investigation until the Crown process wraps up," a spokesperson told CTV News.
A search warrant was executed at Thomas's residents in July 2015, and police said they seized snakes and some kind of equipment from the home.
Gonzales is remembered as a silly, joyful girl who loved purple, her toy monkey and dandelions.
This is a developing news story and will be updated if more information becomes available