Inquiry into strangulation death of a Calgary teen by her mom aims to prevent similar deaths

Aset Magomadova used a scarf to kill her 14-year old-daughter, Aminat, in her southeast Calgary home in 2007. The mother struggled with parenting her troubled daughter. A fatality inquiry will now determine whether similar deaths can be prevented.

Alberta Children's Services worker still wonders whether she could have done anything more

An inquiry opened into the stragulation death of a Calgary teen by her mother 10 years ago. The fatality inquiry is to determine if any changes can be made to prevent similar deaths. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

A fatality inquiry began Wednesday into the death of Aminat Magomadova, 14, who was killed by her mother in 2007 following years of family conflicts and calls for help to Alberta Children's Services, right up until the day before the teenager was slain.

Aset Magomadova was convicted of manslaughter for strangling her daughter with a scarf in their southeast Calgary home after a family argument turned violent.

She was handed a suspended sentence with three years probation in 2010.

That decision was later appealed. But Aset died of cancer before facing a second-degree murder trial.

On Wednesday, the inquiry heard that Alberta Children's Services first got involved with Aset and her two children in 2004 over concerns about the mother's use of physical discipline.

At that time, both kids were taken away, then returned home, under a supervision order.

Their file was closed once it was determined the terms of the order were being followed.

Children's Services received calls

Children's Services said it received another three calls regarding the Magomadova family in 2006, including one following Aminat's threat to kill a teacher.

Then, in January 2007, as concerns about the fighting between the mother and daughter escalated, it became apparent the family wasn't accessing any of the supports being offered by Children's Services. The agency and Aset agreed to have a support worker attend the home on a regular basis.

"Our worry was the family was not connecting to services, for whatever reason," said Maynes, who thought a language barrier could have been a factor.

The family had emigrated to Canada from war-torn Chechnya in 2004.

Aset Magomadova used a scarf to kill her 14-year-old daughter, Aminat, in her southeast Calgary home in 2007. The mother struggled with parenting her troubled teenage daughter. (CBC)

Further disturbing calls came in February, after Aminat made another threat at school and then destroyed some property at home.

The teen ended up running away but was brought back home two weeks later after a police officer picked her up.

That was the night before Aminat was killed.

No evidence of imminent harm

Judge Sean Dunnigan, who is overseeing the inquiry, heard that the officer called Children's Services' social services response team to see if there was any way to stop Aminat from running away again, by putting her in a secured setting.

But Charlene Schmeltz, who took that call on behalf of Children's Services, says there was no evidence Aminat was at risk of self-harm, or in imminent harm from her mother, or engaged in prostitution — each, she says, reason enough to have removed Aminat that night.

Schmeltz says she found out about Aminat's death on her next shift.

"It's the worst possible thing that could have happened ... should I have talked to the mom, talked to the daughter, should I, should I, would it have made a difference?" said Schmeltz.

The inquiry will hear from nine witnesses over the three-day hearing.

Aset Magomadova had health problems throughout her trials, and later died in a Calgary hospice of cervical cancer. (CBC)