The Edmonton man accused of killing his two young sons was allowed unsupervised weekend visits with them even though he had lost custody of the children earlier in the year over concerns about his mental state.

Jason Cardinal, 31, was charged with first-degree murder last month in the deaths of his two sons, aged 6 and 3. 

Edmonton police found the children dead in a northeast Edmonton townhouse early on Dec. 20th, 10 hours after a family support worker unsuccessfully tried to pick up the children and bring them back to their mother after a weekend visit.

The details are in an affidavit from an Edmonton police officer that was sworn to obtain a search warrant. They have not been proven in court.

According to the affidavit, Cardinal had custody of the children until last February when concerns were raised over his ability to parent because of his mental health.

Interim custody was granted to the boys' mother. Cardinal was eventually allowed unsupervised weekend visits with the boys.

Boys found 10 hours later

On Dec. 19, a family support worker showed up at the townhouse around 2:30 p.m. to pick up the boys.

The worker waited at the door for half an hour, but no one answered, so he left a note for Cardinal asking him to contact him, the affidavit says. 

By  7 p.m., the crisis unit was alerted after neither the support worker or the mother had heard from Cardinal. Edmonton Police checked on the house at 7:20 p.m., but no one was there, and the note was still in the door.

A social worker with the crisis unit went before a justice of the peace to get an apprehension order to enter the house which was granted just before 11 p.m.

Another social worker went to the house with police.  What the document says they found was extremely disturbing.

A man police believed to be Cardinal was lying on the bed, with his sons on either side of him. The little boys were both cold to the touch, with bruising on their necks. Cardinal was alive, but he had two deep cuts on his arms.

Cardinal was taken to hospital. He was later charged with first-degree murder.

The boys and their mother cannot be named under Alberta's Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act, since the boys received services from the province's Children and Youth Services ministry.

The acting director of Child, Youth and Family Enhancement has allowed the media to name Cardinal.