Mother charged in Vancouver infants' deaths

Vancouver police confirm that a young woman has been charged in the deaths of her two infant babies, more than a year after the body of one was found outside an East Vancouver home.
Sarah Jee-Wah Leung, accused of killing her two infant sons, appeared in court Wednesday. (CBC)
Vancouver police have confirmed a young woman has been charged in the deaths of her two newborn sons, more than a year after the body of one child was found outside an East Vancouver home on Charles Street.

Sarah Jee-Wah Leung, 24, appeared in court Wednesday morning to face two counts of second-degree murder, according to deputy chief Warren Lemcke.

"Investigators worked tirelessly in close consultation with Crown counsel for 14 months to bring this case to a close and yesterday arrested Sarah Leung after she turned herself in around 4 p.m. upon learning of the charges," Lemcke said.

"The investigation into both deaths revealed that the infants were allegedly discarded shortly after birth, and while one small body was recovered last April, the other was never found."

One son was born on April 2, 2009. The same day his body was found in a plastic bag outside the home in the 2500 block of Charles Street. The mother was questioned and released without charges at the time.

"After the April 2009 investigation was launched Ms. Leung became pregnant again; however, this fact was not known by the Vancouver police and was kept a secret from her own family," said Lemcke.

Then nearly a year later, on March 31, police returned to search the property after receiving information that a pregnant young woman living there had appeared to carry an infant to term.

The search found no evidence of a baby at the home, but police later determined the woman gave birth to a second son on March 7, 2010.

They alleged the infant's body was somehow buried in a Delta landfill, but did not release details.

Vancouver police officers don search outfits as they prepare to enter the Charles Street home. (Submitted by Larry Wulff)

Lemcke said the B.C. Coroner's Service and other experts were consulted to help determine if the recovery of the second infant from the landfill was even feasible, but they determined too much time had passed.

He said it was a troubling case that was difficult even for senior officers to investigate.

"I would like to recognize the lead investigators on this case, a case that took an emotional toll on even the most seasoned officers, detectives Glenn Burchart, Dean Greene and Louise Schell," he said.