‘It’s really heartbreaking’: Family of girl who died at Cowichan motel had recently reunited

'It's really heartbreaking': Family of girl who died at Cowichan motel had recently reunited
WatchThe Falcon Nest Motel manager says a family had recently reunited when they moved in but on Friday night a six-year-old girl died

For a second straight day, police could be seen coming and going from a Cowichan Valley motel as they continue to investigate the recent death of a child at the property.

At around 9 p.m. on April 9, North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP officers and BC Emergency Health Services paramedics rushed to a unit at the Falcon Nest Motel, located in North Cowichan near the Duncan border, where they found an unresponsive six-year-old girl.

The girl was eventually transported to nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

RCMP have since launched an investigation into her death, were seen at the motel throughout the day Saturday and Sunday.

“It just came as a huge shock to everybody here. It’s really heartbreaking,” said Valma Sampson, manager of the Falcon Nest Motel.

Those nearby say they could tell from the first responders, that despite desperate efforts, they weren’t having success reviving her.

“It didn’t look like she had any life in her and they ran her police escort to the hospital,” said Darcy Bueckert, who is Sampson’s partner.

“When they brought the child out on a gurney … it was real heartbreaking,” said Sampson through tears.

RELATED: Child dies at motel in Duncan, police investigating

The family of five had just recently moved into the unit back in March and the girl who died was the oldest of three children, according to Sampson, who has taken in families at the Falcon Nest to help them get back on their feet.

She also said the family had just been reunited under a plan coordinated by the Ministry of Children and Families.

“I just wish the family all the best,” Sampson said. “I hope that the police can help them at least find some kind of [closure] … I don’t know how do you get closure out of something like this?”

Both Sampson and Bueckert said the girl’s death hits very close to home as they have a five-year-old daughter.

Sampson says they want the family to know she and those at Falcon Nest will help in any way possible.

“With all of those children, I hope that you can find the strength in your heart to move on,” she said.

RCMP has not disclosed additional details surrounding the girl’s death, only saying that North Cowichan Duncan General Investigation Section has taken over the investigation with support from the Forensic Identification Section. A separate investigation is being conducted by the BC Coroners Service.

“I hope if there was wrongdoing that the people get what is deserving of them but I would hope that it wasn’t wrongdoing and it was just a bad day,” said Bueckert.

Investigators are expected to be back at the motel again on Monday.

The death comes a little less than a year after police removed an explosive device from the very same motel.

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Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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