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Charges laid in 2017 death of 'Baby Mac' at East Vancouver daycare

Last Updated Aug 21, 2020 at 7:43 am PDT

FILE - Baby Macallan “Mac” Saini. (Courtesy Facebook/Shelley Sheppard)

The operator of an unlicensed, unregistered East Vancouver daycare has been charged in connection with Baby Mac's death

Sixteen-month-old Macallan “Mac” Saini was found unresponsive on the floor of the Olive Branch Daycare in January 2017

Susy Yasmine Saad charged with two counts of 'failure to provide necessaries of life,' one count of fraud over $5,000

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Charges have been laid in connection with the January 2017 death of toddler “Baby Mac” at an unlicensed and unregistered daycare in East Vancouver.

Susy Yasmine Saad, 41, who ran the daycare Macallan “Mac” Saini was attending has been charged with two counts of “failure to provide necessaries of life” and one count of fraud over $5,000 in connection with the baby’s death.

“The details of this file are just gut-wrenching,” the VPD’s Constable Tania Visintin says in a release. “Investigators have worked diligently since this terrible incident occurred to ensure the person accused would be held responsible.”

Police would not get into details about the charges, but Visintin says the fraud charge surrounds “deceit that was presented to investigators initially.”

She adds there was a lot of “back and forth” between Crown and investigators before charges were eventually laid.

“The charges that have been laid are the ones that are most effective and the most appropriate,” Visintin told reporters on Thursday.

Baby Mac, who was just 16 months old at the time of his death, was found unresponsive on the floor of Olive Branch Daycare in East Vancouver on Jan. 18, 2017.

A lawsuit filed by the boy’s mother, Shelley Sheppard, alleges Baby Mac choked on an electrical cord and died, however, that has not been confirmed by the coroner.

Sheppard has said she arrived at the daycare to pick up her son when she saw fire trucks outside.

“She followed the firefighter up stairs and witnessed her son, Mac Saini lying on the floor. He had a ‘grey’ pallor and it was evident to her that he was deceased,” the documents, submitted to the courts in September 2018, read.

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The lawsuit claims Baby Mac had been left alone when he choked.

Prior to the child’s death, the lawsuit says the Ministry of Children and Family Development and Vancouver Coastal Health had investigated the daycare for having too many children to be operating without a license, but didn’t do anything, thereby depriving Mac of his charter rights to life and security of person.

Saad appeared in court on Wednesday and was released. Her next court appearance is scheduled for September.

“As nothing can take away the pain of losing a child, we hope the family can find some closure knowing that charges have been laid,” Visintin says.

On how the family is feeling now that charges have been laid, Visintin admits it’s likely still a difficult situation for them to be in.

“Yes, charges have been laid and somebody’s now being held accountable but, rightfully so, I’m sure they’re grieving just as much today as they were the first day.”