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Edmonton mother charged with murder in methamphetamine death of newborn

Keith Gerein & Catherine Griwkowsky7 hrs ago


© Edmonton Journal Michelle Rice, 31, seen in a Facebook photo.

An Edmonton mother stands accused of murdering her 11-day-old daughter, who was found to have died from a lethal dose of methamphetamine, Edmonton police said Thursday.

Michelle Rice, 31, faces a charge of second-degree murder.

The charge stems from March 29, when police and paramedics learned of a baby in distress at a home near 72 Street and 83 Avenue, in the east side community of Kenilworth.

The newborn, who was reported to have stopped breathing, was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

A week later, the medical examiner’s office contacted police with results of an autopsy and toxicology tests, which found the girl died from methamphetamine. 

The amount of methamphetamine in the baby’s system could not have been transmitted through breast milk and is thought to have been transmitted orally or anally, said Scott Pattison, a spokesperson for Edmonton police.

Despite an arrest in the case, homicide detectives still wish to speak with anyone who may have visited the girl’s home in the 11 days prior to her death.

Pattison called the case “horrific” and said it is significant for those who knew the child and for investigators.

“Investigators are working on behalf of somebody who is vulnerable and unable to defend themselves,” he said. “Those are the cases they want to work diligently to ensure prosecution is successful.”

Pattison said Rice has a young son who is unharmed and staying with his biological father. He added he didn’t know if the man was the father of the baby girl as well.

Police have decided to withhold the name of the victim, similar to several other homicide cases this year.

“Every file is evaluated on a case-by-case basis,” police said in written statement Thursday. “The EPS has decided not to release the name of the deceased in this investigation for the following reasons: it does not serve an investigative purpose, there is no risk to public safety and the EPS has a duty to protect the privacy rights of the victims and their families.”

With files from CP




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