Canada

Couple's suicide note reveals struggle to care for son

Kelowna couple's suicide note says they asked B.C. gov't for financial assistance to care for their disabled son

A suicide note left by a Kelowna couple found dead with their son earlier this week indicated they couldn't get the government financial support they wanted to help care for their severely handicapped son.

The bodies of Maurice, Belva and Reece Baulne were discovered Monday in their motor home. They had died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Police investigating the incident say a suicide note was placed in a "prominent place" inside the motor home, making it difficult to miss.

RCMP Const. Garth Letcher says that according to the note, the couple made their decision based on the struggles of caring for their 34-year-old son.

"The note is very clear as to how the couple viewed their situation and what they had resolved to do with respect to that situation," said Letcher.

Neighbours of the Baulnes say the couple had asked the B.C. government for financial assistance so Maurice would be able to stop working, and stay at home to help care for Reece, since his mother could not handle him on her own. The couple had operated a petting zoo, but were forced to shut it down and sell their animals when Maurice was laid off last year.

Home care support is available from the province, but the Baulnes wanted another form of assistance. They wanted to be able to stay home with their disabled son, instead of bringing in an outside worker.

A B.C. social worker thinks it's a good option, and says the agency he works for has been urging the government to create such a plan.

"It supports one individual to stay home with the family member with the disability rather than what could be a stranger coming in from outside," said Richard Little, of the Kelowna Society for Community Living.

A spokesperson for the province says the government won't comment on the case.

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