Prospective adoptive parents of boy charged with 1st-degree murder in Burlington

The prospective adoptive parents of a 12-year-old boy are facing first-degree murder charges after the child was found dead inside a Burlington residence days before Christmas in 2022, Halton Regional Police said.

Emergency crews were called to the home just before 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 21, 2022, in response to a child without vital signs.

A 12-year-old boy was located deceased, police said. Following a lengthy investigation, 44-year-old Becky Hamber and 42-year-old Brandy Cooney of Hamilton have been charged with first-degree murder and failure to provide the necessaries of life.

Hamber and Cooney were also the prospective adoptive parents to a younger sibling of the deceased 12-year-old child who also lived in the home in Dec. 2022.

A police spokesperson said in Jan. 2023, the accused were charged with assault, assault with a weapon, forcible confinement, failure to provide the necessaries of life and criminal negligence to cause bodily harm following an investigation concerning that sibling. 

Police did not provide the age of the other child. The pair were held on bail on Friday.

Halton Children’s Aid Society confirms dead child was Indigenous

Janice Robinson, the Executive Director of Halton Children’s Aid Society, issued a statement on Friday, confirming that the 12-year-old boy was Indigenous, adding that their organization was “devastated.”

“Nothing is more important to the Board of Directors, leadership, and staff of the Halton Children’s Aid Society (Halton CAS) than the safety and well-being of the children, youth and families with whom we work,” Robinson said.

“We immediately conducted an internal review and engaged an independent third-party reviewer to examine child safety and adherence to standards. We have been absolutely committed to learning everything we can about what happened in this case.”

Robinson said the Halton Children’s Aid Society is cooperating with the investigation.

“We have been informed that there have been further charges brought against the prospective adoptive parents and, given this matter is now before the courts, we cannot comment further,” she added.

“Our profound thoughts and condolences continue to be with the family and the Indigenous community. We want to reiterate that our priority is always the safety and well-being of the children in our care, and we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that they are protected and supported.”

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today