Ottawa father describes 'traumatic' year after daughter found dead in B.C.
'Someone cries in this house probably every day about Teagan still'
Nearly one year after eight-year-old Teagan Batstone was found dead in the trunk of her mother's car in British Columbia, her father in Ottawa still struggles to explain the tragedy to her two young brothers.
- Mother charged with murder after daughter, 8, found in trunk
- WATCH | Gabe Batstone remembers last day with Teagan
"You have some tough questions and some tough days. Someone cries in this house probably every day about Teagan still," Gabe Batstone told CBC News.
"Teagan's orders to me would have been, 'Take care of my brothers and give them the best life they could ever have.' That would be her one wish."
Lisa Batstone was charged with second-degree murder after the lifeless body of her daughter was found in the trunk of her car in Surrey, B.C. on Dec. 10, 2014.
Gabe Batstone said the "traumatic" situation is amplified by the fact that he tried to gain custody of his daughter two years before, after his ex-wife Lisa Batstone attempted suicide.
Teagan came to live with him in Ottawa with his wife, stepson and son — who are now three and nine — but said he was "forced" to return his daughter a month after the suicide attempt because the court had given his ex-wife primary caregiver status.
Teagan continued to visit him, her stepmother, stepbrother and half-brother several times a year, he said.
Batstone said the year since Teagan's death has been "traumatic," especially when reminded of "those special moments" they should be sharing.
"Father's Day and Teagan's birthday were in the same week, so that was a pretty rough week in June," he said. "The focus has been on healing and mourning."
He and his wife have since started a not-for-profit organization called Teagan's Voice with the goal to protect children.
"So that Teagan's life and her spirit can help someone else in the future," he said.
Lisa Batstone has been found fit to stand trial. A date for the trial has not yet been set. None of the allegations have been proven in court.
That leaves Gabe Batstone with many unanswered questions because, as a witness in the case, he can't be informed of certain details, such as the cause of his daughter's death, until after he testifies.
"That's a very difficult reality to deal with. And in some ways, of course, you don't want to know. I've created a Disney version in my head of the sequence of events that I'm sure is not reality," he said.
with files from Ashley Burke