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Murder and disappearance
of baby in Prince Albert

At eleven o'clock on the morning of March 6th, 1881, Doctor J. E. Ware, the resident physician of Prince Albert, visited the home of Mrs. Mina Eddy. Her husband Rice Eddy had died four years earlier. Widow Eddy's daughter Mary was in the final stages of labour.

Dr Ware delivered a healthy baby. The doctor knew that Mary was not married and he was unable to obtain any information about the father. The following Monday, the doctor returned to check up on the child and reported that the child was extremely healthy and appropriately clothed.

On Saturday Dr. Ware went to check up on the newborn. Upon arrival at the house he was told that the baby had died that morning. Dr Ware examined the corpse of the infant and reported that he "saw no marks of violence upon it, but the child looked quite gaunt."

Dr. Ware summoned the coroner, Dr. Richard Jones in Port Perry, to carry out an inquest. That evening, Dr. Jones called on the two Justices of the Peace, John Nott and Reuben Crandell, and three others in order to form a jury. Mrs. Eddy refused to permit the jury to enter the house.

On Monday morning, after much argument and delay, the jury was admitted into the house. The constable explained that they had to see the body of the dead child in order to determine the cause of death. Mrs. Eddy and Mary both said that they had not seen the childŐs body after the doctor had left on Saturday and knew nothing about the baby's whereabouts.

Dr. Jones then contacted the Provincial Attorney-General. By now the news of the affair had become a front-page item in the Toronto newspapers. The Toronto Globe reported, "On Thursday, the 17th, Government detective Murray went to Prince Albert. In company with local constables, he made a diligent search throughout the house, even to digging up the clay in the cellar, but found no trace of the child. Detective Murray then arrested Mrs. Eddy and her daughter on a charge of murder."

John Nott, a Port Perry Justice of the Peace gave the Eddys a severe lecture and then released them. The murder charges were dropped because of lack of evidence even though both were guilty of concealing the facts.

Two weeks later a letter to the editor signed by Mr. J. A. McDonald, denied any knowledge of wrong doing but acknowledged that he had been a lodger in the Eddy house for the past year. The contents suggested that he could have been the father.

Mary Eddy never married but remained at home to care for her mother. Mrs. Eddy died in 1895 at the age of 75. Mary Eddy was only 47 years old when she died in 1907. The fate of the Eddy infant remains a mystery to this day.



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