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 still remains in custody awaiting trial after numerous defence delay’s.
Teagan was a bright, happy, loving girl who attended Grade 3 at Rosemary Heights Elementary School in South Surrey, BC prior to being killed. She loved running, gymnastics, tennis and animals, but Teagan loved nothing more that her two brothers (8 and 3 year old at the time) who lived in Ottawa. Although living primarily with her biological mother (plus weekends with her dad) at the time of her death Teagan spent lots of time every year at her father's family home in Ottawa, Ontario. She stayed in Ottawa during much of the summer, March break and Christmas. In addition the entire family also travelled to Vancouver each spring which we called “Teagan presents Vancouver” which allowed her brothers to visit her school and for her to share her favourite parks, stores, restaurants etc. 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 hospitalized 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 into this stable situation, Madam Justice Wedge ordered Teagan back to her biological mother's custody, despite the obvious risk 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, no site visits, uncoordinated services, 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.