Social worker testifies about visit to Phoenix Sinclair's home before her death

The Canadian Press
January 15, 2013

WINNIPEG - One of the last social workers to intervene before a young Manitoba girl was killed is testifying at an inquiry into the child's death.

Christopher Zalevich (ZAHL'-uh-vitch) went to the home of Phoenix Sinclair on March 9, 2005, after his colleagues received a tip that the girl was being abused.

Zalevich, along with a co-worker, spoke with Phoenix's mother in the hallway of the apartment building, but left without seeing the girl.

Zalevich says the mother didn't want the workers in her apartment and stood in the doorway.

He says Samantha Kematch told them she had a visitor, and then showed them her baby, who appeared clean and well-cared for.

The file on Phoenix was closed soon after that and, three months later, she was beaten to death by her mother and mother's boyfriend.