A 52-year-old man has been charged after a nine-year-old boy and his 12-year-old brother were found dead in a Brampton home Wednesday night.
Police were called to the home on Hiberton Crescent, near Sandalwood Parkway and Creditview Road, just before 11 p.m. Wednesday for a medical call.
“When we attended, we didn’t find any obvious signs of trauma to the children. It was a little bit later on that it was determined to be a suspicious death in both cases,” Const. Heather Cannon said.
The exact cause of death has not been released. Cannon would not say where in the house the boys were were found, or who else was home at the time. Police say the 911 call came from inside the house but would not say who made the call.
Edwin Bastidas, the father of the two children, is facing two counts of first-degree murder. Police say no other charges have been laid at this time.
Neighbours say the boys lived with their parents at the home and another family member, believed to be an aunt, lived in the basement. They say there were no signs of trouble last night.
“I’m just in shock. I came home from work last night and saw the cruisers here,” said neighbour Paul Rodrigues. “This morning my daughter said her friend – the house that they live in – they found the kids dead.”
Rodrigues, who identified the boys as Jonathan and Nicholas, said his wife was good friends with the mother of the children and frequently went for coffee with her.
“They’re just your regular everyday boys, they walk their dog through the neighbourhood. My daughter plays with them.”
Another area resident, Sam Mammen, said the neighbourhood has always been a safe place. He said he didn’t know the family but had seen the boys walking by.
The Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board said it was “saddened” to hear the news of the deaths of the two boys who attended St. Bonaventure Catholic Elementary School.
“Members of the DPCDSB’s Tragic Events Response Team are in attendance at the school to provide support and counselling for students and staff,” the Board said in a statement. “The flag at the school has also been lowered to half-staff in memory of the two students.”
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown called the situation “heart breaking.”
“If this is indeed a case, domestic or familial related homicides, it is unfathomable,” Brown said on Twitter. “As a parent, I just can’t comprehend this. The crisis that led to this is yet unknown. But our whole community is grieving.”
Police said the incident marked Peel region’s 24th and 25th homicides this year.
Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report