Ottawa woman unfit to stand trial in alleged abduction of Nunavut baby
Fern Caines-Zwarts is charged with kidnapping, failing to provide the necessities of life, obstructing police and aggravated assault
A 70-year-old Ottawa woman has been found unfit to stand trial for allegedly abducting a Nunavut infant in early June.
Fern Caines-Zwarts is hospitalized on a treatment order, Ottawa Crown prosecutor Marie Dufort confirmed in an email to Nunatsiaq News Wednesday.
When a person is found unfit to stand trial, it means a judge has decided the accused can’t defend themselves against the charges they are facing because of a mental disorder.
Caines-Zwarts is charged with kidnapping and failing to provide the necessities of life, obstructing police and aggravated assault.
The charges stem from an incident that occurred June 3, when an 11-month-old went missing from the area around Carling Avenue and Pinecrest Road in Ottawa, near the Larga Baffin patient residence.
The infant’s disappearance triggered an Ontario-wide Amber Alert in the early hours of June 4.
Later that morning, Ottawa police located the infant in a nearby home, where they arrested Caines-Zwarts, 70.
The infant had a feeding tube in her stomach and required medical attention, police said, but was found “safe.”
Police said the accused did not know the baby or her mother.
Caines-Zwarts made a first court appearance on June 4, according to Ottawa police.
Her next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 13.