Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chris Martell

Please note that an Anon writer has referred us to a story of Chris Martell whose 22 month old son died in a temporary foster care home two weeks ago. The boy died from drowning in a bathtub and suffered extensive scald type burns. Chris is walking 150 kms in two days to raise money to help him seek answers.

The story was quoted from this June 24, 2010 Saskatoon's StarPhoenix  website as well as two CBC columns
A Promise:  The Saskatchewan Child Advocate promises transparency in June 15, 2010 in StarPhoenix



  1. How does "I'm so sorry, Chris!" do anything to ease such terrible pain. Horrendous and shocking!

  2. What is even more remarkable is seven months earlier in a different foster home a cousen died.

    Definitely this is a case worth watching.

  3. Our hearts grieve with you Chris. The pain you have endured with the removal of your child and then to this words fail to describe. May God give you strength as you undertake your journey for answers to this tragedy and may God comfort you through this immense time of grief.

    Paul and Zabeth Bayne and family

  4. Child services should be 100% responsible for Chris Martell's legal fees. In some cases after a child has gone into care, child services withholds information from the parent even if the child is in temporary care stating the parent is no longer a 'legal guardian'. This is wrong and is one of the many aspects of MCFD that really needs to be changed. Some parents children are taken away and in temporary custody for quite a while before a parent ever gets to defend themselves and sometimes they never get that chance. They are still parents.

  5. Chris,

    Thank you so much for your courage and perseverance. Your actions now will benefit children and families in years to come, as you are sure to garner much publicity for this cause.

    Please send out press releases on a regular basis, and make it so people can contribute via Paypal and / or Square.

    What we really need to do is find ways to generate funds for these families, and for this cause. If the Baynes and others could please enable Paypal / Square contributions, and send out press releases/ emails with links to the Paypal button in order to contribute, that would be very beneficial.

    Also, it seems likely that there would be at least some philanthropists who would contribute to this great cause - that is, parental rights as they relate to child protection. Not sure if the Baynes or others have considered this, but perhaps someone in the fundraising field (or someone who could acquire knowledge in that field) could assist them by contacting potential donors.

    I wish the best to Chris, the Baynes, and all others who have had the terrible misfortune to deal with this cruelty, and thank you so much for fighting on behalf of all families. We are all, potentially, only one anonymous phone call away from the apprehension of our own children.

    God Bless.

  6. God bless this family. So so terrible.

  7. Ron,

    Can you tell us if the Baynes have Paypal set up anywhere, so that we can make contributions online?

    Thanks for asking. Donations are processed by a Trust Fund Committee the members of which I have met and in whom I have confidence. Paypal has not been used to date. I can check with them and even recommend it for consideration. Meanwhile here is the donation provision that has been used, either a posted cheque or a direct deposit.

    1. Make a donation by making a cheque payable to
    Lau, Chiu, Hunt Legal Trust Fund for Bayne
    9406 Pauleshin Cres, Richmond, BC V7E 6P2
    Donations will be accepted by deposit to the trust account at any branch of TD Canada Trust. TD Canada Trust [bank # 004] Continental Centre Branch [branch # 9713]
    Account Number [6415554]

  9. 100% of the legal costs? Where was this dad when his child was in care? Why was the dad not found fit to care for his child? The foster parent is responsible for this, most certainly, but not wholly. They are wholly responsible for the act of murder and for that they must be punished - and surely their own children placed with extended family or foster care, not to mention incarceration.

    Did the CPS not conduct a full assessment when this foster parent began applying for this job? Did the prospective foster parent completely pull the wool over the eyes of CPS? If so, was it for money? Greed? CPS surely dropped the ball in many ways.

    But, where was this father? If the father was an adequate parent would this not have been avoided? Why is he outraged his child died, but wasn't outraged the child was placed in foster care? He is expressing he had concerns over the overcrowding of the home. But why was he not an option in the first place?

    All could have been avoided.

    Needless to say, this is gut-wrenching in so many ways.

  10. Thanks for that info Ron,

    I thought Paypal might be worth mentioning because it is just so much easier and more convenient for people - sometimes we have the best intentions to write a cheque but never get around to it, whereas with Paypal, especially if there were a link on your site, Ron, we could just click it and make a donation to the Bayne legal fund while we were thinking about it.

    If the Baynes could set up a planned giving program (e.g., a donor commits to $20 or $50 or whatever coming off their credit card every month, to be discontinued at the donor's discretion, that would be helpful as well.).

    Here is the link for info re: Paypal donations for anyone who is interested in learning more:


  11. Googling the name of Chris Martell would have provided some of the information against which you did your rant. A good part of the rant was directed at Chris who cannot answer here. He didn't supply his story to me. But it is in online news. A good rule will be - comment but do your own research first. This father gave up his child as a temporary measure for unexplained reasons. He was trying to have his son placed in a home with the boy's aunt. His aunt was approved to take the child but the transfer had not yet occurred. Chris visited his son a few days before he died. "The last thing he said to me was 'Bye-bye, Dad,' Chris said.
    Two articles here. There are more.



  12. Regarding Paypal, I have notified the Bayne Trust Fund trustees who said they are interested in setting this up. thanks for the link and I will pass it on.

  13. Ron. The mother placed him with aunt to deal with her addictions issues (great choice), and the aunt placed him in temporary care - not the father. I suspect the mother would have agreed to this of course. (Now of course I can't find the link to prove what I state), but I quote "a temporary solution that the mother chose since they were no longer together." Why didn't she just send the child to Chris? Or Chris' relatives? Or even a family friend?

    Chris was trying to get their 22 month old back into his care as he had the care of the couples eldest child already - glad to know he was trying.

    Fact is, it all boils down to parents are responsible for protecting their children. Had they been able to retain care this would have been avoided - and yes, I realize it was voluntary.


  14. Thanks for the further details

  15. CW,

    It's astounding how you can turn things around so that when a child is brutally murdered in foster care, it's somehow the parents' fault.

    You aren't just some dude with a passing interest - please admit it, for once and for all, you work for the Ministry.

  16. No matter where these horrific foster murders take place, there is ALWAYS someone who has to make it look like it is the parents fault. It's really, really disgusting.

  17. Anon 2:07 - I said clearly the murder is the foster parents fault. What I am saying is this all could have been avoided had the parents, well, been parents.

    2:10 - Is it not a parents right and responsibility to protect their child?

    Again - foster parent responsible for murder. Child protection responsible for the foster parent and where they place the child for voluntary care (did they even speak with the dad???). Parent(s) responsible for child being there in first place - and all the decisions they made prior to this.

  18. Be careful. Murder has not been charged or proven.

  19. I suppose the 22 month old could have done this to themselves, Ron. You are right - might not have been the foster parent.

    Yes, this situation angers me as much as anyone else here. Avoidable from so many many perspectives.

    There is...a proverb? Ron, you can clarify the correct term biblically please. There is a proverb that says (paraphrase) "you don't leave this earth until God's mission for you is done." I truly hope this baby's mission is not lost on this planet.

  20. CW,

    Do you or do you not work for the Ministry of Children and Family Development?

  21. Wow CS, doesn't quite sound like you. Not so subtle slam. You lost some chips with me. You have been so precise before. I would have thought you might have discerned that I was not excusing the probable negligent caregivers but speaking to the legal terminology which leans toward intentionality in the death.

  22. Dr. Hlady is a clinical professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of
    British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine. She is also a practising pediatrician at BC Children’s Hospital and has been the Director of the Child Protection Service Unit for 19 years, providing comprehensive assessments of children in cases of suspected abuse or neglect. Dr. Hlady also served on the ultidisciplinary Team for the Children’s Commission.


    Foster child complained about treatment in care
    PRINCE GEORGE -- A jury at a coroner's inquest heard shocking allegations Tuesday from a former foster child who said he was struck over the head with a wooden spoon so hard it broke, he was put in cold showers fully clothed as punishment and sometimes went without food for four days in a local foster home.

    The allegations were in a statement by the child, identified only as Child 46 to protect his identity, which was read into the record by coroner's counsel Chris Godwin.

    The child had complained about his treatment in the foster home of Patricia Keene, who also looked after three-year-old Savannah Hall, who was rushed to hospital on Jan. 24, 2001, and died two days later after being transferred to B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver.

    The inquest into Savannah's death has heard how the boy's complaint was received by a social worker and an investigation was ordered Nov. 28, 2000, but it wasn't carried out until Savannah became gravely ill.

    Usually an investigation would be launched within a day for a serious allegation and should be completed within 30 days, but the standard of the Ministry of Children and Family Development wasn't met in this case.

    Former ministry social worker Katrina Ludwig testified she was assigned to investigate the allegation of abuse and neglect, but she sent an e-mail to her supervisor on Dec. 4, 2000, saying she was too busy.

    Another social worker wasn't assigned to investigate the boy's complaint until Jan. 25, 2001, and the boy was interviewed the next day. The inquest was told the boy had put a blanket over his head while he was being interviewed.

    The boy, then in Grade 7, said he and his sister were both mistreated in the Keene foster home. He said Pat Keene would hit him on the head, hands and feet with a wooden spoon if he didn't do his chores.

    "She hit me so hard on the head, it [the spoon] broke," the boy recalled, adding his sister was also hit with the spoon.

    He said he would be put in a downstairs bedroom that had no windows and a bed with no blankets .

    Pat Keene also gave the boy and his sister cold showers as punishment, he said, recalling he was sometimes pushed in the shower fully clothed.

    He also had his mouth washed out with soap if he didn't speak loudly enough to be heard, according to the statement read in court.

    He said he once bit Pat Keene while she was putting soap in his mouth and she bit him back, advising him she could bite twice as hard.

    He said he didn't want to tell anyone because he thought his foster mother would get angry at him.

  23. PUZZLED Dr. HLADY 2.

    Coroner Scott Fleming warned the jury of five women to use caution in assessing the statement of a child, who did not attend court to be cross-examined.

    The inquest also heard the testimony of Robert Watts, the regional director of child welfare in the northern region, who outlined a series of changes to the ministry made after Savannah's death.

    He said there used to be one director of child welfare for B.C., based in Victoria, but now directors are assigned to regions to oversee child protection.

    Peter Grant, the lawyer representing Savannah's birth mother, Corinna Hall, at the inquest, asked Watts whether the investigation of Child 46 would "fall through the cracks today" as it did in 2000.

    Watts said ministry staffing levels had improved in the north since 2001, and there are more team leaders to supervise smaller groups of front-line social workers.

    "I think the system we have now is better than we had before," he said, but added under further questioning that he couldn't give an absolute guarantee the system would protect all children.

    Watts agreed with Grant that the ministry is the guardian of children in foster care, who deserve protection.

    "We are the guardians of these children and we owe them a very high standard of care," he testified.

    The inquest is expected to hear the testimony of the foster mother today.

    Earlier Tuesday, a doctor who examined Savannah Hall at B.C. Children's Hospital before the child died, testified she was concerned about bruising on the child and the fact that there was massive brain swelling.

    "I was concerned about the location of some of the bruises," Dr. Jean Hlady, one of the province's top experts in child abuse, recalled.

    Hlady said she examined the girl on Jan. 25, 2001, a day after she had been admitted to the emergency department of the hospital in Prince George.

    After the child was transferred to Children's Hospital in Vancouver, Hlady interviewed the foster mother, who reported the child had had a mild cold, had fallen twice the day she was admitted to hospital, and wasn't feeling well, so was put in bed early.

    Hlady recalled the child was initially admitted to hospital with massive brain swelling, was comatose, had a very low temperature and a low salt level.

    "The history I was given didn't add up," the doctor recalled.

    The child was determined to be brain-dead and life support was discontinued on Jan. 26, 2001, and the child was declared dead when her heart stopped, Hlady said.

    (The girl's birth mother, who was in court for the testimony, wiped tears from her eyes as the doctor described the end of the girl's life.)

    Hlady said she was still puzzled by the case to this day.

    The inquest, now in its second week, is trying to determine the facts surrounding the little girl's death and has heard that the ministry had received a series of allegations about mistreatment of foster children in the home.

    The inquest jury is expected to make recommendations to try to prevent a similar death.



  24. Call it fatigue, Ron. So much gets lost in text as well. I did discern what you are/were saying, but didn't respond appropriately (ie, the response had sarcasm where none was called-for....is it ever?).

    Back on topic...Anon 3:50....does it matter? Read the words on the page without any form of bias. Just read the words. Set aside your expectations of what a CPS worker is or does. I've never once said CPS the world-over doesn't need an overhaul/examination/assessment/. Doesn't mean it isn't worth defending. As Ray Ferris noted in a recent comment on Ron's most recent posting, there is a lot of good work that none ever hear of. Worth defending. For the record, I didn't answer your question - because it doesn't matter. Saying it matters is like asking someone "were you ever in the NHL?" when discussing ways to fix a slapshot. So long as you know the personal ability and strengths of the athlete in front of you, have a strong understanding of technique, and are a good critical thinker you can help the athlete solve his slapshot issue. Need not have been an NHL defenseman.

  25. I will add this - CW stands for Community Worker. What if I had signed on to this web page as "Table Maker"? Perceptions are a wicked thing on the internet. Stick to the words, and don't assume there is any agenda other than to suggest there are good people doing good work in CPS - and there are many many horror stories. And most important, CPS require the greatest amount of accountability, where it currently doesn't appear to exist.

  26. I hear you CW, all is well.

  27. Josef Fisher shared some news reports above concerning Savannah. Online news articles containing them can be found at




  28. So, Dr. Hlady was "puzzled" about Savannah's death. I wonder if she would have been so "puzzled" if Savannah hadn't been in foster care.

    She's the Director of the Child Protection Service Unit at BC's Children's Hospital, a clinical professor in the UBC Department of Pediatrics. So, you have to wonder, why would she be "puzzled" when presented with a case of what - in any other context - she would easily diagnose as child abuse.

    This is a story that we keep hearing. How children in foster care are abused and no one cares. But yet children who are with parents who love and care for them, and who happen - for example - to question the diagnosis of some egotistical doctor on a power trip - get their children taken from them, and thrown into foster care.

    The more a person learns about these "child protectors," the worse it gets. That's not to say there isn't good, sincere, kind, well meaning people working in this field. But too many, way too many, are causing so much damage.

  29. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  30. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  31. Two comments were made yesterday of a seriously critical nature concerning my highlighting of what was already public news media coverage of Chris Martel's personal pain and his courage to acquire justice. I have removed the two comments pending my online conversation with Chris himself. I have been in contact with Chris Martel. The criticism expressed in those two comments was a result of misunderstanding. My involvement with situations such as Chris is experiencing is a voluntary and sincere attempt to publicize the need for more accountability by government services and justice for children and families when mistakes have been made. I am confident this morning that Chris already understands that I am on his side and can do what I can to assist his cause. That was the purpose of my original blog post. Thank you for looking at this blog site. What you will quickly discern is that while the blog is dedicated to assisting one family in particular, many other parents have begun to speak about their own situations of grief and sadness and sometimes victory. Occasionally I have mentioned someone else's story and that is what I did here because it was already in the public forum of CBC news. Chris is going to tell me more of his story so that if I can assist him with another coverage, I will.

  32. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68O2gjw3wuU

    Ron is right. Any more info wanted email me @ chrismartell686@hotmail.com or add me to facebook or join the Evander Lee Daniels Group on facebook thank you Ron an dthank you all I will not give up on my fight for justice. Sine June8th 2010 @ 930 pm when crises nursery caime and told me the terrible and horrible news of my sons death i never heard a thingnot a phone call not a knock on the door or nothing i truly believe they are covering this up. LET MY SON STORY BE HEARD i dot wanthis death to be in vain. they told me he died by drowning on a tuesday night june 8th then that Friday I got a call from the corener saying there releasing the body to me and that he has some scalding little bit she said. Well the funeral home called me and asked me to come see for myself. On my horrfic scean i saw my son with 3rd degree burns from head to toe except his diaper area in 3rd degree burns his face was burnt off his scalp and hands his dres shirt was leaking fluids through from his blisters we had to rap him up like a mummy and put a heavy white screen over the casket so family etc can view him. Since then all i got is a im sory wnd i rpomise to get to the bottom of this from donna harpier the former ministry of social services then a week later she is ministry of educaton and my sons investigation is nowhere. RCMP are inversitgating but no charges have been laid, my son was in scalling hot water with his diaper on for 45min

  33. Evander was in the car of the mother cousin Jamie and her husband melvin while i was to be in the USA army i joined to fight the war in Afgahnistan. Jamie said she would take care of Evanderuntil my return since I am not married or have a comon law wife to help me. My mother took my oldest cody EVanders brother. the mom had post pardon depression and fellin into alcohal and drepression. On my return from the Army when Evander was 1 years old the mother and i had a domestic dispute i was falsey charged last year and i was stuck in Canada and couldnt return to my duty as a American Soldeir so i stayed and took 8 months of Ange rmanagenet and pleeded guilty casue i didnt have the $5000 for a lawyer to fight the false charges ( the mother charged me falsey so i could stay in Canada) so Upon my stay in Canada I had regular visit with Ebander and I raised Cody with my mom. And had no contact with mother. around March i guess the mom and jamie had a disagreement and the mom i guess without m knowledge got her life back together and quit drinking and got help for her drepression and mental health. and enrolled in school and got Evander a dacare spot etc. So jamie gave up Evander to Social services so he mom can aply to have him back WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE after 2 weeks of phonecalls and running aroun trying to find evander i found him in a foster home in Abeerdeen that was overcrowded with 5 kids unde the age of 3 including there own 8 year old daughter who is 9. I went to court and asked for visits and I got in contact with the mothers family and the sister was going to take Evander until mothr got her approvael to take him back for good. I couldnt take evander social services wouldnt let me cause of the domestic prior. My family wanted to take Evander ( my family work for social services ) but we all thought his mom deserved a secound change and she showed she did change her life around. well the sister of the mother was given the green light after a home study. We called everyday wanting to know when evander was going to the moms sisters place ( she has a foster child shes taking care of and the home was a good home) and the social services took there time, they said a Native family with or ethen 3 kids is considered overcrowded and a non native home with 5 and under is no overcrowded. and that the mothers who are native mus have 5 concurent visits with the child before approvel is given the day of his detah the mother flew in from up north saskatchewan and we bothe gonna meet the workers to say whats taken so long but it was allready tooo late. 3 weeks we waited after the approved the home for evander to go i but red tape and techincalities prevented him from bein with his family and he beed alive today. I want hire a laywer to doa inquiry and also to doa civil uite for negalgence causing death. Social services toldme his safty was not a concern and that the home was safe but I knew it wasnt. So far i rasied only $2500 after being one news radio pleading to the public only a hanful donated and the rest i sold all my belonging and gave up my car loan and m apartment. I am homeless as of today. Im focusing my time on fighting for my son, I walked 150km to Prince Albert Saskatchewan from Saskatoon Sk with the flu sick and i plan on walking to north battleford saskatchewan canada 125km from saskatoon to raise money and awareness august 5th to 6th 2010 Evander birthday is August 6th. After being on TV asking for help youtube facebook not one person donated in my sons memorial fund at the affinity credit union bank not one as of today. THANK YOU ALL

  34. As other of you read Chris Martell's story, perhaps you may feel inclined to donate something to his efforts. I will seek to clarify with him the exact donation instructions and to post them.

  35. Look for Blog 261 for a full recount of Chris' story using his own information and making an appeal on his behalf. He is one of the many vulnerable people for whom seeking justice is a challenge measured by dollars he himself does not have. His little boy's death requires full accountability and disclosure so that children are no longer placed even temporarily in care facilities that have not been adequately scrutinized for reliability and qualification of care or where unsafe conditions like too many children are permitted. And if there are not enough excellent care homes, STOP removing the children, or accepting them, but rather make every effort to see that extended family have the opportunity.

  36. Two adults, five other kids plus the tot who died -- eight people in a foster home is crazy.

    If another child died within 6 months, I would be shutting down that foster home pronto and publishing photos and preliminary information to allay public fears foster homes are little more than unregulated prisons for children. Unbelievable.

    I would be curious to know what a lawyer would be able to do under these circumstances? An investigation for an unnatural death takes six months to a year.

    I'm sure this ridiculous span of time is designed by child proection officials to hope people forget, because I do not see any sequence of investigative steps published that justifies this delay.


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