Coroner urges patience with onging investigation into murder-suicide case

Teresa Wright
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Nash David Campbell

The province’s chief coroner says his investigation is ongoing into the death of a toddler by his mother in a tragic murder-suicide in P.E.I. last June.

Dr. Charles Trainor said Friday he knows people have many questions about how this could have happened and whether anything could have been done to prevent it.

That information is still being gathered.

“This is a tragic event. We don’t want this to happen again in the future and anything that can be done in the future to prevent this sort of thing is what the coroner’s office is interested in,” Trainor said.

“But we need time to complete our investigation before we can go further with this.”

Trainor was reacting to calls in the legislature earlier this week by Independent MLA Olive Crane to appoint a retired judge to review the case.

Crane said an independent examination of the case could help to answer questions many have about how this tragedy occurred.

Justice Minister Janice Sherry wouldn’t comment directly on the case, but said if any coroner's investigations do not reach satisfactory results, she does have the authority to call for a review.

Trainor said Friday these discussions are premature.

“To have a retired judge look into this, I don’t think that’s appropriate at the present time because it is an ongoing investigation and we need time to do our work before anything further can be done.”

Trish Hennessey and her four-year-old boy, Nash Campbell, were found in the back seat of a burned-out vehicle on a quiet dirt road in St. Felix last June.

An 11-week investigation, autopsy and toxicology tests, together with information gathered from a criminal investigation, led RCMP to determine Hennessey murdered her son and killed herself.

Autopsies determined both Hennessey and Nash died of smoke inhalation. But toxicology results also found both mother and son had ingested prescription drugs prior to their deaths.

Trainor says the investigating coroner, Dr. Cyril Moase, will likely need a lot more time to complete his investigation.

“I would say we’re looking at considerable time… we have to gather all the information and look at it, and the information is still coming in. But it’s not something that’s going to be completed in in a matter of weeks.”

He urged patience while the coroner’s investigation continues.

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • Dee
    December 08, 2013 - 08:19

    I feel strongly that the justice system failed this innocent child, Nash. He should have been in protective custody while this case was being sorted out. Hope they, the judges, lawyers, family members will learn from this tragedy.. RIP Nash...

    • freda
      December 08, 2013 - 21:06

      He should have been in business father's custody as the courts appointed him guardianship. He complained many times to the authorities that Ms. Hennessey was not stable and begged for custody.

  • Elaine
    December 07, 2013 - 20:47

    Rest in peace little man.