Inquest begins in death of Indigenous teen found near Hamilton group home

A coroner’s inquest examining the death of an Indigenous teenager whose body was found near a group home in Hamilton has begun.

The inquest has heard Devon Freeman was 16 when he was reported missing from the Lynwood Charlton Centre in the Flamborough area of Hamilton in October 2017.

His body was found near the home more than six months later.

His grandmother, Pamela Freeman, held back tears this morning as she told the inquest about her grandson, recalling his love for cars and trucks and his interest in space and the planets.

Pamela Freeman, who is a member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island, said her grandson’s death has left her grappling with “sorrow and pain,” as well as nightmares.

The coroner’s counsel, Brett Moodie, says the inquest will explore the circumstances surrounding Devon Freeman’s death, and systemic issues that contributed to his death, including public policy and legal issues related to Indigenous children and youth in the child welfare system.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2022.

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