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Nothing ‘stood out’ about Jeffrey Baldwin’s family, says children’s aid supervisor

Jeffrey Baldwin (second from right) is shown in a coroner's inquest photo. A Toronto woman and her husband who starved their five-year-old grandson to death had subjected two of the woman's children to "eerily similar" abuse more than two decades earlier, an inquest heard Wednesday.


A children's aid supervisor says when he first met the family of Jeffrey Baldwin, including the grandparents who ultimately starved him to death, "nothing really stood out."

Sal Salmena, with the Catholic Children's Aid Society, is testifying at the coroner's inquest into the five-year-old's death about his involvement with the family.

Most of his involvement came when the society put the first child of Jeffrey's parents – who were teenagers at the time – in the care of the baby's grandparents, Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman.

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The inquest has heard that both Bottineau and Kidman had a history of child abuse, including separate convictions, but when the society was looking at placing Jeffrey and his siblings in their care, no one looked at that history.

Salmena is testifying that the society saw what he called "the grandma option" as positive, saying not all young couples have a relative who could care for their child on a temporary basis.

The inquest has heard that Jeffrey, who wasted away and died in his grandparents' care, and his siblings were each sent to their grandparents on a temporary basis, but each time Bottineau went to family court to get permanent custody.

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