Globe and Mail

Diary reveals mother's struggle as police hunt for missing child

Dawn Walton
The Globe and Mail
Saturday, June 9, 2001

CALGARY -- As investigators in Calgary resumed their underwater search yesterday for the body of a three-month-old girl to no avail, a picture has emerged of the child's mother, who was struggling to cope with her role as a young single mom.

Excerpts from the diary published yesterday of Rie Fujii, the 23-year-old mother of Gemini Brown who police believe was sealed in plastic bags and dumped in the Bow River two weeks ago, reveal a loving but troubled woman.

"It's really hard for me to do all the things at the same time, looking after baby, worried about rent, worrying about buying stuff for the house and the baby, and buying groceries," she wrote.

Ms. Fujii is a Japanese citizen who came to Calgary four years ago on a student visa. She was a student of English as a second language at Mount Royal College.

This week, Ms. Fujii was charged with failing to properly dispose of a human body. Her 15-month-old son Domenic Brown was found dead earlier this week on the floor of her vacant apartment. She is slated to appear in court Monday.

Writing to Domenic and Gemini's father, a Calgary native named Peter Brown who police had hoped to interview yesterday, Ms. Fujii explained that caring for their son has left her "stressed out."

"I just wanted you to know how hard looking after Dom is," Ms. Fujii wrote. She tells Mr. Brown that although she does not work outside the home, her job as "mom" offers no days off and no paycheque.

Still, the diary, which concludes last September around the time she may have discovered she was pregnant with Gemini, also shows Ms. Fujii as a loving mother.

"Every time I touched him he laughed and he was so cute," she wrote of Domenic.

Calgary Police Staff Sergeant George Rocks said while the investigation into Domenic's death and Gemini's disappearance is continuing, the charges against Ms. Fujii could be "elevated."

Inspector Blake McWilliam said police have had "some positive feedback" after making a public plea for help from anyone who may have assisted in caring for Domenic and Gemini.

But day two of the search for Gemini's body was delayed by high and fast-moving water yesterday.

"The water is so murky, and visibility is near zero," Insp. McWilliam said.

Officials from the city's homicide unit and fire-department dive team have yet to determine whether they will resume the search over the weekend.

Copyright 2001 Globe Interactive, a division of Bell Globemedia Publishing Inc.