The Parkdale community is mourning the loss of one of its youngest residents, seven-year-old Katelynn Sampson.
A makeshift memorial is continually growing for the chubby-cheeked little girl, who was pronounced dead at her Lansdowne Avenue and Queen Street West area home early Sunday morning.
Emergency crews were called to an apartment at 105 West Lodge Ave. at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 3 after receiving a 911 call that a child was choking on food and not breathing.
Once there, emergency crews found a little girl without vital signs. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police subsequently said that the victim had obvious signs of trauma about her entire body.
Det. Sgt. Steve Ryan of the Toronto Police Services' Homicide Squad said that an autopsy on the little girl is being conducted today.
"Further details will be revealed once the cause of death is determined," he said Tuesday afternoon.
The child's legal guardian, 29-year-old Donna Irving, was arrested and charged with second degree murder.
At the time of her death, Katelynn was living with Irving, her boyfriend Warren Johnson and their two sons. Irving was a longtime family friend of the child's birth mother Bernice Sampson. She'd been taking care of Katelynn since January while Sampson dealt with some personal issues.
Irving, the mother of four biological children, made a brief court appearance Monday morning.
A grief-stricken Bernice Sampson, who hadn't seen her daughter for about a month before her murder, also attended that hearing.
Irving was remanded into custody until Aug. 15 when a bail hearing will be set.
Neighbours, friends, family members, former classmates and even strangers also gathered for a solemn vigil at the West Lodge Avenue building Monday evening.
The little girl, whose middle name was Angel, would have been a Grade 3 student at Parkdale Public School this September.
Katelynn Sampson is the city's 39th murder victim this year.