The Elk Island Catholic School district confirmed Tuesday one of its young students died suddenly over the weekend.
“It is with profound sadness that Elk Island Catholic Schools confirms that a student at St. Patrick Catholic School in Camrose died suddenly,” the district said in a statement.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this young student and for all the people in our community that are touched by this tragedy.
“Currently, we are providing grief counselling and support to both students and staff at the school and will be working closely with the entire St. Patrick School community in the coming days to provide additional supports,” district spokesperson Susan Johnson said.
“As this matter is under police investigation, we cannot share any further details at this time.”
The bodies of a 39-year-old man and his six-year-old daughter were found in a Red Deer home on Sunday at around 3:30 p.m.
Police were called to the home in the Lancaster neighbourhood for a check on welfare.
RCMP are investigating but said Monday they’re not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.
“There was life lost and an innocent child,” said Heather, who lives in the area and asked that her last name not be published. “I’m a mom, so it probably hits closer to home because of that.”
She said she didn’t know the man who lived in the house and didn’t recall ever seeing a child.
“This is a tragic loss that affects our whole community,” RCMP Supt. Ken Foster said.
He said all deaths are difficult for members of the RCMP and other emergency personnel, especially when they are investigating the death of a child.
“On behalf of the RCMP, I want to express our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.”
RCMP did not comment on the cause of death. Autopsies were conducted in Calgary on Tuesday but the RCMP said further tests were needed to determine the cause and manner of the deaths.
Police said investigators completed their work at the scene and it is no longer being contained.
RCMP have not released the names of the 39-year-old father and his daughter. However, a title search lists the homeowner as Robert Lesslie Malcom Campbell.
Court documents show Robert Campbell was in a common-law relationship between 2011 and 2014. The pair was granted joint custody of Callie, a little girl born February 2011, in August 2016.
Documents show their relationship was strained and they often clashed over custody and how Callie was being treated in the other’s care.
Court documents dated May 19, 2015, show a text message in which Campbell called Callie “an inconvenience.”
While addressing his split, court files show Campbell wrote: “You sadden me and I’m disappointed with you. I would give anything to spend half [the] time that you get with Callie… You take her for [granted] whether you realize it or not.”
— With files from Caley Ramsay and Quinn Ohler