Police investigating deaths of two young boys in east Toronto as suspicious

Boys' deaths suspicious

The deaths of two young boys found in an apartment after their mother fell from a balcony in northeast Toronto are being treated as suspicious, police said Monday.

Police said they were called to an apartment building around 7:30 p.m. Sunday and found a 25-year-old woman on the ground who appeared to have fallen from a unit.

Based on information received at the scene, officers conducted a wellness check on two boys believed to be in the unit, they said.

In a news conference Monday morning, acting Insp. Terry Browne of the homicide unit said officers had to break into the home and found two boys, aged four and five, without vital signs. The children died in hospital and an autopsy is scheduled later this week, no sooner than Wednesday, he said.

At this time, it is not possible to know what – or who – may have caused the children's deaths, Browne said.

"When we went inside, they were clearly vital signs absent, but there was also not a lot or any visible trauma to their bodies, so we don't know who caused the deaths of the two boys at this point," he said. 

"So it's being treated as a suspicious death, two deaths, pending the outcome of the autopsy."

Browne said that "given the circumstances" of the case, the homicide unit would be leading the investigation.

"Certainly, it's not an everyday occurrence where we have a situation where a young person dies with no known history or signs of trauma, but to have two of the same family found in this, the way it's presented ... we're acting on inferences but we're drawing no conclusions at this point." 

Browne also said that preliminary information suggests the woman's fall was not accidental, nor was she "assisted in falling over the balcony." 

There is no reason to believe someone was with her at the time, and there was no one else inside the unit when officers arrived, he said.

Browne said the woman's injuries are "quite serious" but she is expected to survive at this time, adding she is set to undergo surgery.

Police confirmed the boys are the woman's sons but said they could not provide further information on "the family dynamic" at this time. Browne said investigators have been speaking to some of the woman's relatives and all have been co-operative so far.

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