Inquest into death of Indigenous teenager near Hamilton group home
The grandmother of an Indigenous teenager whose body was found near a group home in Hamilton told an inquest into his death on Monday that his story is not over.
Pamela Freeman held back tears as she recounted the coroner’s inquest into her grandson Devon Freeman, recalling her love for cars and trucks and her interest in space and planets.
« You just amazed me with your knowledge and enthusiasm. Every day you were on the move, » she said.
« I only had you for 16 years but I’m grateful for everyone. You taught me a lot, » she said. « Your story doesn’t end there. The love doesn’t end there. »
The teenager’s death left her struggling with « grief and pain », as well as nightmares and anxiety, said Pamela Freeman.
The inquest heard Devon Freeman was 16 when he was reported missing from Lynwood Charlton Center in the Flamborough area of Hamilton in October 2017.
Her body was found near the house more than six months later.
Devon Freeman and Pamela Freeman are both members of the Chippewas of Georgina Island, where the inquest began on Monday. It will continue Wednesday in Hamilton and is expected to hear from approximately 31 witnesses over 17 days.
Coroner’s attorney Brett Moodie said the inquest will explore the circumstances surrounding Devon Freeman’s death and the systemic issues that contributed to his death, including public policy and legal issues related to children and youth Aboriginal people in the child welfare system.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 26, 2022.