Toddler dies after eating poisoned cereal at sleepover

Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 11:24 AM CDT
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TORONTO (CTV) - Canadian authorities said a toddler who died in March had eaten poisoned cereal, and the man believed to have been responsible is now in custody.

Bernice Nantanda Wamala died just one week after her third birthday after her mother rushed her to the hospital following a sleepover at a friend’s place.

Both Wamala and her friend had severe reactions after eating breakfast cereal. Bernice began vomiting and was having trouble breathing.

Bernice’s mother Maurine Mirembe was searching for answers when she spoke with CTV News at the time of the poisoning, and police have provided some.

“This past weekend Francis Ngugi, 45 years of age of Toronto, was arrested with two counts of administering a noxious substance to endanger life, as well as unlawfully cause bodily harm, two counts and criminal negligence causing death,” Toronto Police Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu said.

Police said both of the girls who ate the cereal were familiar with Ngugi, but they won’t confirm what the connection was, nor will they identify the substance that’s alleged to have been put in the cereal.

“The man obtained the controlled substance from his place of employment, and that was part of the investigation where they later determined that same controlled substance was found in the cereal that the two children consumed,” Sidhu said.

Upon learning of the arrest, Mirembe told CTV News she is praying for justice.

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