Ont. mom found guilty of murdering two-year-old

Roseanne Whalen, 25, has been found guilty of killing her two-year-old daughter. (Courtesy Niagara...

Roseanne Whalen, 25, has been found guilty of killing her two-year-old daughter. (Courtesy Niagara Falls Review)

Karena Walter, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 7:50 AM ET

HAMILTON, Ont. — Roseanne Whalen, 25, heaved and sobbed Tuesday night when a jury found her guilty of killing her two-year-old daughter.

Jurors in the trial of the Fort Erie, Ont., mom delivered the verdict after deliberating into the night Tuesday, declaring Whalen guilty of second-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Marissa.

Whalen — who hid the fact her daughter was dead for more than two months, even from her mother — will receive a mandatory life sentence of 25 years.

Her minimum parole eligibility is still to be determined, ranging from 10 years to none.

Her outburst upon hearing the verdict was the most emotional the jury had seen Whalen, who did not cry during 9 ½ hours of police interview tapes when she described giving Marissa mouth-to-mouth and "feeling" her last breath, or when provided grisly details of digging up her daughter five days later to remove evidence and finding her head had "exploded."

"I think it's a just result," said assistant Crown attorney Timothy Hill.

Marissa was killed July 29, 2011, in Fort Erie and buried in a remote wooded location in Ohsweken on Six Nations territory, near Brantford. Her remains were found Oct. 16 of that year.

The jury heard Marissa died from a fatal injury handed down by her mother's girlfriend, Rainbow Hill.

Hill is behind bars after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the child’s death.

Hill and Whalen buried the child on Six Nations territory and dug her up a few days later to remove evidence, which was burned.

The Crown argued Marissa was repeatedly abused by Rainbow Hill but that Whalen was so besotted with her girlfriend, she put her relationship with Rainbow ahead of her duty as a parent.


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