Teagan Batstone (June 27, 2006 - December 10, 2014) was found dead in the trunk of her mother's car on December 10, 2014 in Surrey, BC. Teagan's biological mother, Lisa Batstone was charged with second degree murder the next day and currently remains in custody awaiting trial.
Teagan was a bright, happy, loving girl who attended Grade 3 at Rosemary Heights Elementary School in South Surrey, BC. She loved running, gymnastics, tennis and animals, but Teagan loved nothing more that her 8 and 3 year old brothers who lived in Ottawa. Although living primarily with her biological mother at the time of her death, Teagan spent plenty of time each year at her father's home in Ottawa, Ontario during the summer and school holidays and her father spent at least one weekend per month with her in Vancouver. The entire family also travelled to Vancouver each spring to spend an extended weekend with Teagan in Vancouver. Only 8 years old at the time of her death, this senseless act of violence could and should have been prevented.
There were many warning signs that could have been acted upon to save Teagan. Most notable was the 2012 suicide attempt of Teagan’s mother who was subsequently admitted to a psychiatric facility for evaluation and treatment. During this time, Teagan was placed into her father's care in Ottawa where she attended school and loved life with her dad, young brothers and step-mom. Unfortunately, only a couple of months following Lisa Batstone's breakdown and suicide attempt, Madam Justice Wedge ordered Teagan back to her biological mother's custody, basing her judgement heavily on opinion evidence and not taking any immediate steps to evaluate the safest home enviornment for Teagan. There are many aspects that contributed to this outcome, but the most significant included: a lack of in-depth expert analysis, uncoordinated services, opinion evidence in the form of untested affidavits, and a focus on parental rights instead of the rights of the child.
It is an abdication of our community responsibility to our children to simply place them in a home with significant risk and wait for abuse to happen before taking action. Teagan's Voice was created to advocate for legislative changes and changes to the application of existing laws to protect other children from the same tragic fate as Teagan.