A day after a damning report was released about how the Truro Police Service conducted a child homicide investigation more than a decade ago, the victim’s family says they still haven’t received an apology.
Aleisha Mercer says she cried for days after her daughter’s death in 2005, and those tears returned yesterday when an independent report revealed that Truro Police Service botched the homicide investigation.
“She was my only baby, perfect, we were best friends. I've never moved on from this and my heart breaks,” says Aleisha Mercer.
Three-year-old Samantha Mercer was home with her mother’s boyfriend when she suffered a fatal brain injury in 2005.
Terry Dean Allen was charged with manslaughter and later acquitted.
Nova Scotia’s Justice Minister ordered an independent review into how the Truro Police Service handled the investigation.
A retired chief justice from Prince Edward Island determined: “Their investigation was marred by procedural errors, neglect, lack of diligence and failure to provide the crown with appropriate deliverables in a timely manner.”
The Mercer’s lawyer says the family wants accountability.
“They also believe there should be, from the Truro Police Service, an expression of remorse and regret for the way this case was handled,” says lawyer Brian Bailey
The report suggests that the Truro Police Service is currently capable of investigating major crimes.
“But 11 and a half years ago that didn't help my daughter. They did this to her. There is no remorse, no nothing... just nothing and there is wrong doing,” says Aleisha Mercer.
Dalhousie Law Professor Archie Kaiser says the report is slim, but he applauds the recommendation for auditing small municipal police services to ensure professional standards.
“I would want to see that done well in a manner that is open to public scrutiny which enables the public to make a decision on whether or not they have confidence in our municipal police services,” says Kaiser.
Nova Scotia’s Justice Minister says her department accepts all the report’s recommendations, but isn’t addressing compensation for the Mercer family.
“I think the facts speak for themselves... and I think the family needs to look at that and decide what they want to do next... but I think we did the right thing,” says Justice Minister Diana Whalen.
The Mercer family are left wondering why it took so long.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl.