Ontario coroner sets dates for Devon Freeman inquest

Devon Freeman

An inquest for Devon Freeman is scheduled for Sept. 26. Photo: APTN.


An Ontario regional coroner has announced the dates of an inquest that will examine the death of Devon Freeman.

The 17-year-old was reported missing in October 2017 from a group home in Hamilton, Ont., 45 minutes west of Toronto. He was found dead six months later, on April 12, 2018 near the home.

The inquest is scheduled to start on Sept. 26, expected to last 17 days and will hear from 31 witnesses, according to Dr. Karen Schiff, regional supervising corner in Hamilton.

Hearings on the first day will be held on Georgina Island.

The inquest was announced in 2020 by Schiff.

Pamela Freeman, Devon’s grandmother, told APTN in 2020 that she’s hoping an inquest will help her understand why it took over six months before he was found – just 35 metres from the back door of his group home.

“No one listened to me when I said my gut tells me he didn’t leave the property,” Freeman told APTN. “I just need answers.”

Devon Freeman
Pamela Freeman holds a picture of Devon. Photo: APTN.

Details about Freeman’s mental health and behavioral challenges are documented in a Dec. 5, 2019 letter to Schiff from lawyers Sarah Clarke and Justin Safayeni, who are representing Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation and Freeman APTN News reported in 2019.

The inquest was called because of a “lack of communication and the multiple system failures” between organizations involved in Devon’s care “almost unimaginable,” adding “it is the overarching and consistent theme reflected at nearly every stage of the tragic circumstances leading to and surrounding Devon’s death,” APTN reported.

According to the release, members of the public will be able to watch the proceedings online. Click here: Devon Freeman