Police launch criminal case after drowning of child last summer

Officials of Pieriīga North Precinct of Riga Regional Administration of the State Police completed an investigation regarding five-year-old girl Evita who drowned last year in the Gauja and on October 13 this year handed over the file to the Prosecutor's Office to prosecute the mother and stepfather of the girl, the police said October 16.

On June 26 last year, State Police received information that a five-year-old girl Evita was missing in Sigulda, Gauja Beach at about 14:00. Extensive forces from both the State Police and other services, businesses, and volunteer organizations were involved in her search. The search efforts were mainly carried out in the area of the River Gauja, with numerous inspections of both the land area and the river and its bed. Drones and a State Border Guard helicopter were used in areas where access was impossible by foot or boat.

After nearly three days of continuous searches, the missing five-year-old girl was found with no signs of life in the river between the village of Gauja and Sigulda on June 28 in a joint state police, municipal police, national guard and volunteer patrol.

Police initiated criminal proceedings and investigations.

Information obtained by the investigation shows that the girl's mother and stepfather left Evita unattended that day. Both individuals have been identified as suspects in criminal proceedings. 

Upon obtaining sufficient evidence and carrying out all necessary investigative activities of criminal proceedings, a decision was taken last Friday, October 13 to transfer criminal proceedings to the Pierīga Prosecutor's Office for the initiation of criminal proceedings against the mother and stepfather.

Criminal proceedings shall be qualified in accordance with Section 123, Paragraph one of the Criminal Law regarding unlawful killing by negligence, as well as Section 174, Paragraph two of the Criminal Law – for cruel or violent treatment of a minor, if physical or mental suffering has been caused to the minor and if it has been caused by persons on whom the victim is materially or otherwise dependent.

Deprivation of liberty for up to five years or temporary deprivation of liberty, community service, or a fine, with or without confiscation of property, shall be provided for this criminal offense.

The State Police reminds the public that all are considered innocence until proven otherwise. 

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