Mother charged in drowning death of three-year-old Kaden Young

October 22, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

The mother of three-year-old toddler Kaden Young has been charged by Dufferin OPP in relation to her son’s death eight months after he was pulled from her arms into the icy depths of the Grand River.

In a release to media last Thursday (Oct. 11), OPP confirmed it had charged 35-year-old Michelle Hanson with impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death. She is to appear in court on Nov. 6.

Police officials chose not to comment on specific details of the allegations, with Cst. Paul Nancekivell, media officer with Dufferin OPP, refusing to confirm the nature of the impaired driving charge.

“As stated in the media release, we will not be releasing what type of impairment it was, as this may compromise the integrity of future court proceedings,” Cst. Nancekivell stated.

He did, however, offer his sympathies to Kaden’s family, while recognizing the efforts of those in the community who worked so hard, often during terrible conditions, to search the banks of the Grand River in the weeks following his disappearance.

“The OPP sympathizes with and expresses its heartfelt condolences to the family of Kaden Young on his tragic loss. We also remember and recognize the many community residents and visitors who gave up their time to search for Kaden during the aftermath of this tragic incident,” Cst. Nancekivell said.

Kaden was lost after the minivan driven by his mother was pulled into the raging Grand River on Feb. 21. Ms. Hanson had earlier failed to stop at a road closure sign. Despite managing to escape the vehicle, she told police Kaden was torn from her arms. It was later determined he had drowned in the icy waters.

The incident sent shockwaves throughout the community, with hundreds pulling together in solidarity and support as they sought to bring Kaden home. Vigils and fundraisers were organized, while dozens of locals trawled through the river banks in search of a body. It was finally recovered from Belwood Lake on April 21, two months to the day from his disappearance.

Commenting on why it took police almost eight months to file charges against Ms. Hanson, Cst. Nancekivell noted the complexity of the case played a major role.

“The coroner had control of the investigation from Feb. 21 to March 28, when the Dufferin Caledon OPP Crime Unit was assigned. The investigation was complex and required forensic analysis of evidence as well as lengthy consultation with the crown attorney’s office to arrive at the final charges laid,” he said.

This marks the second time Ms. Hanson has been charged since Kaden’s disappearance. Back in April, she was charged with assaulting Cam Young, Kaden’s father. That case continues to play out in an Orangeville courtroom.


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