Atira Women’s Resource Society’s Maxxine Wright complex. (Photo: Google Maps)

Infant’s sudden death at Surrey complex for vulnerable women prompts police probe

Officials say child was two years or younger; won’t comment on cause of death until investigation complete

The sudden death of a young child at a Surrey complex that provides housing and supports for vulnerable women and their children is being investigated by B.C.’s coroner and Surrey RCMP.

“The Coroners Service is investigating a sudden, unexpected death from early August involving an infant in Surrey,” Andy Watson, spokesperson for the BC Coroners Service, told the Now-Leader via email.

The agency investigates all child deaths in B.C.

Watson confirmed the death of the child, aged two years or younger, happened at 13733 92nd Ave. A complex at this location houses the Maxxine Wright second-stage housing that both cater to women and their young children, run by Atira Women’s Resource Society.

“We would never speculate on cause of death in any death investigation until that investigation is fully complete,” Watson noted.

Police have also launched an investigation, said Surrey RCMP Corporal Elenore Sturko.

Janice Abbott, CEO of Atira Women’s Resource Society, told the Now-Leader via email that “at this time, we have no information to suggest this is anything other than a tragic accident.”

“Investigations are routine when a child is involved and do not necessarily suggest anything sinister,” she added.

In the email, Abbott said Atira won’t comment further until more information is available.

The property houses Maxxine Wright Community Health Centre which “supports women who are pregnant or who have very young children at the time of intake who are also impacted by substance use and/ or violence and abuse,” according to Atira’s website.

It includes a drop-in space and other support programs.

In December of 2010, the second-stage housing project opened. Atira’s website states it offers 24 units of supported affordable housing to women and their young children.

Atira runs more than 20 housing operations across Metro Vancouver, including seven in Surrey, according to its website.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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