Grandfather questions charges in child's death
The grandfather of a deceased southern Alberta toddler says he wonders if the family business is connected to charges against the boy's parents.
Charges of failing to provide the necessaries of life were recently laid in the death of 19-month-old Ezekiel Stephan of Raymond, Alta.
On Thursday, grandfather Tony Stephan told CBC News that he wonders if there is a connection with his controversial multi-vitamin company.
Stephan started a company called Truehope, which sells multivitamins to treat mental illnesses. Truehope had a 10-year battle with Health Canada, which the company won.
"I'm going to say this — there's no question that we've had a very difficult time with the acceptance of Truehope with the government authorities," said Stephan.
Autopsy reveals meningitis
RCMP said the boy died five days after being admitted to Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary in March 2012.
An autopsy shows he had meningitis. Earlier this week, after a lengthy RCMP investigation, parents David and Colett Stephan were charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life.
"This is not a neglectful thing," said the boy's grandfather. "This is a couple that are very concerned about their family. They are a loving couple. So I don't know. I have to ask the question and it does beg an answer. Does this relate to what we are doing with Truehope? I can't say for sure."
Tony Stephan says his family is not against conventional medicine.
"We're not anti-hospital … or medication. If you were to check into our Alberta health-care records, you'd see that we use the system."
The Stephans, who are scheduled to appear in Lethbridge provincial court on May 23, say they were not aware the police were investigating the child's death.
Raymond is about 35 kilometres south of Lethbridge.