Toronto boy, 4, died of blunt-force trauma, police say

Police in Durham Region treating boy's death as a homicide.
Police say a four-year-old's death in Bowmanville was a homicide. 2:02

Police in Durham Region are treating the death of a Toronto boy as a homicide.

On Wednesday evening, Durham Regional Police were called to a home in Bowmanville, Ont., where a four-year-old boy was reported to be without vital signs.

Police tape surrounds the Bowmanville, Ont., home where a four-year-old child was being looked after at the time of his death on Aug. 28. (Natalie Kalata/CBC)

Police said the child was then rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Because the boy was under five years of age when he died, an investigation was triggered.

Police have identified the deceased child as Terrel Vidal, 4, of Toronto.

Police said that a post-mortem examination has determined that the cause of his death was blunt-force trauma. His death is now considered a homicide.

No arrests have been made so far.

Police said the boy was being cared for at a family friend's home at the time of his death.

The people living in the home where the child was found had only been in the neighbourhood for a few weeks.

"They moved in … maybe six to eight weeks ago and we didn’t know much about them," said Dan Dewolfe, a resident who said police have been "tight-lipped" about what happened.

His wife, Bonnie Dewolfe, was at home when police responded to the call on Wednesday night.

She saw emergency responders doing chest compressions on a person on a stretcher, but didn't know then that it was a child.

"We knew once the tape went up and there was police here for days … that the person had probably died," she said Sunday, in an interview with CBC News.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact Det. Todd Dennis at 1-888-579-1520, ext. 5402, or Det. Dianne Jennings at 1-888-579-1520, ext. 5223.


  • Durham Regional Police released an incorrect spelling of the first name of the deceased. They have since notified the media that the vicitm's name is Terrel Vidal.
    Sep 02, 2013 2:08 PM ET

With a report from the CBC's Natalie Kalata