The parents of a 4-year-old boy found dead this week at a North York townhouse have now been charged with his murder.
Ravyn Colley, 24, and Joel Roberto, 27, were arrested early in the morning on Thanksgiving Monday, after their son Jaelin Roberto-Colley was found lifeless with “obvious injuries” at their townhouse on Finch Ave. E., according to police.
They were originally charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life, but that charge was withdrawn Thursday afternoon, when Colley and Roberto appeared separately in a downtown Toronto courtroom.
Each is now accused of first-degree murder in the death of their son.
The pair had been living together at the townhouse since June, where they were raising Jaelin and their younger son, Colley’s father, Gary Garrell, told the Star Wednesday.
Fellow residents of the Fernways townhouse complex near Finch Ave. E. and Don Mills Rd. have said they rarely — if ever — saw Colley and Roberto after they moved into their unit, where neighbours held a vigil and set up a memorial for the deceased boy earlier this week.
On Thursday, Roberto and Colley’s family members lined the benches of the tightly packed College Park courtroom.
Roberto entered first, wearing a bright orange T-shirt, and stood in the prisoner’s box with his shoulders hunched and his face firmly set. He gave a slight nod to his family in the body of the court as he was led out in handcuffs.
Colley, who appeared afterwards, was clad in a prison-issue forest green track suit; she was reprimanded by a court police officer for looking back and trying to speak with her father, who was visibly agitated.
The court ordered that Colley and Roberto remain locked up under section 469 of the Criminal Code, which deals with serious offences like treason and homicide.
After his daughter’s court appearance Thursday, Garrell said he would no longer be speaking with the media. Members of Roberto’s family who attended court also declined to speak with reporters, while their lawyer, Rishma Visram Gupta, refused to answer questions.
Jordan Garrell, Colley’s younger brother, said Thursday that he didn’t know the funeral arrangements for his nephew, Jaelin, and that family members are waiting for authorities to release the boy’s body.
Colley and Roberto are scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 24 at 9 a.m.