Authorities in Ontario, Canada, believe the mother of a missing toddler played a role in his disappearance earlier this year.
According to The Star, 35-year-old Michelle Hanson was charged with impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death.
She drove a minivan onto a closed road following a February flood and the car was caught up in the water spilling from the banks of the Grand River.
Reports indicate she was able to free herself and 3-year-old Kaden Young, but the child was soon ripped from her arms amid the strong current. His disappearance sparked a widespread volunteer search effort and his body was discovered by fishermen two months later underneath a bridge.
The site of the incident became a makeshift shrine to the boy and local law enforcement joined the community in mourning his death.
In April, Constable Paul Nancekivell described two “long, grueling months involving hundreds and hundreds of volunteers” involved in the search.
He said it “really rallied the community together,” including locals who showed up with equipment crucial to those organizing the effort.
The boy’s mother also reacted at the time with an emotional statement thanking those who helped in the search.
“We are wanting to thank everyone that has helped in the efforts to bring our son Kaden home,” Hanson wrote in a Facebook post shortly after Young’s body was found. ‘It has been a long extremely draining two months of searching and now has finally come to an end. The amount of support was absolutely incredible and we really can’t thank everyone enough.”
Hanson was arrested a short time after the discovery on charges related to assaulting Cam Young, the boy’s father.
Authorities declined to provide further details regarding the charges against her, citing an interest to “protect the integrity of ensuing court process.”
Nancekivell noted that law enforcement received approval for the charges from the Crown Attorney’s Office in Orangeville.
“If they don’t like charges, they withdrawn them,” he said. “It is better with serious ones like this to get it straight from them right off the bat what they want in terms of charges. That way, we’re not wasting time.”
[Featured image: Kaden Young, handout]