Charity Fleury gave her healthy and happy 10-month-old baby girl a big hug as Fleury left for work last summer, leaving the child in the care of her then-boyfriend.
It was the last time she saw her daughter alive.
Later that morning, Aug. 11, 2020, the grief-stricken mom rushed back to her Flin Flon home to find her baby, Chase Pearl McCallum-Fleury, surrounded by paramedics, frantically working to save the infant.
Now, more than seven months later, the man who was trusted to look after Chase has been charged with her slaying.
"I was on my first week back to work after maternity leave. Then, I get a call to go home. I knew something was messed up because she was completely healthy and then she was not here," said Fleury, during an emotional telephone interview Thursday.
"I didn't know anything at all until (this week). That's when I got the report from the constable... He told me my ex-boyfriend was being arrested for second-degree murder."
On Thursday, Flin Flon RCMP confirmed Mounties were called to a residence in Flin Flon on Aug. 11, after being told an infant was in medical distress.
Despite the efforts of emergency workers, the child was declared dead.
An RCMP spokesman said an autopsy was completed within days, but officers had to wait for an additional medical report, which they received in January.
The report indicated Chase sustained injuries that could not have been accidental.
"I didn't know anything at all until (this week). That's when I got the report from the constable... He told me my ex–boyfriend was being arrested for second–degree murder." – Charity Fleury
On Tuesday, 25-year-old Robert Alexander Bear, of Sandy Bay, Sask., was charged with second-degree murder.
Bear, who was living in the child's home in Flin Flon at the time of her death, was arrested at his Saskatchewan residence. Arrangements are being made to transfer him to Manitoba for a court appearance.
Fleury said she didn't know Mounties were continuing to investigate Chase's death — or what had happened to her — until RCMP gave her a copy of the medical report this week.
Fleury said Bear came to the child's funeral, held days after her death.
"He showed up," she said. "He patted me on the back and said he was so sorry, and gave his condolences."
The child's aunt, Summer Dawn Rose Knife-Tuckanow, said she will always remember Chase as a happy child.
"So full of life, she always giggled, and moved around in her jumper," said Knife-Tuckanow. "She was starting to pull herself up. A couple more months and she would have been walking."
Now, Fleury wants justice.
"I feel like a complete failure," Fleury said. "I want to make sure she gets justice.
"I want to be my daughter's voice. She was so innocent. I will be her voice."
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.