'He loved him': Grandmother defends Manitoba man charged in baby's death

Sunday, 01 October 2017, 05:14:41 PM. The grandmother of a 10-month-old boy who died after being brought to a Winnipeg hospital with a head injury is speaking out about the child’s death.

The grandmother of a 10-month-old boy who died after being brought to a Winnipeg hospital with a head injury is speaking out about the child’s death.

On Friday, Veronica Monias told CTV Winnipeg that she believed her grandson, a happy child with a big smile, was in good hands at his foster family’s home.

“It’s unbelievable,” she said in an emotional interview. “Deep down, it really hurts.”

Winnipeg Police say that the child, who family members have identified as Jonathan Monias, was brought to hospital Tuesday afternoon in critical condition with a head injury. He died later that day.

The child’s 22-year-old foster father, Waylen Curtis Wood, has been charged with criminal negligence causing death. Wood was released on bail on Friday and will be back in court in October.

Veronica Monias told CTV Winnipeg that Wood’s wife is a cousin of the boy’s biological father.

"And I believe that he would not harm the baby,” she said. “I believe he wouldn't let anything happen to Jonathan. He loved him."

Police are not releasing information about the circumstances surrounding the child’s death, but officers said Thursday that Jonathan’s injuries prompted hospital staff to call investigators.

"I can't say what investigators suspect,” Const. Rob Carver of the Winnipeg Police Service told reporters on Thursday. “I can tell you that the evidence that's in front of us at this point merited this charge."

Family members have told CTV Winnipeg that Jonathan was sitting in a car seat inside his foster parents’ apartment, and that his foster father was only a few feet away when the boy tipped over.

Once the criminal charges are dealt with, the Office of the Children's Advocate will investigate the circumstances surrounding the boy’s death because he was a child in care. Child and Family Services will also be reviewing the case.

"There is an internal process that happens, a review from the agency and the authority that will bring all the facts to the table,” Manitoba’s Minister of Families, Scott Fielding, told reporters on Thursday.

Instead of getting ready to celebrate the child’s birthday, his family now has to plan his funeral.

"It's very hard, you know,” Veronica Monias said. “He’s a ten-month-old.”

With a report from CTV Winnipeg’s Josh Crabb

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