Domenic Rye Brown

February 9, 2000 - May  2001

Gemini Brown

February 24, 2001 - May  2001

There aren't words to describe how disgusting it is that people can kill their children and pay such a minimal price for the suffering they cause. The case with Rie Fujui, who was 24 years old at the time she starved her babies, is a sad example of that. Rie was born in Tsuwano, Shimane, she is a Japanese woman who moved to Canada and ended up having two children she did not want and that would end in the death of both of them.

In 1997, Rie went to Canada on a visa, she had intended to learn English while she was there. Rie ended up moving in with Peter Brown, in 1998. When her visa was going to expire she went back to Japan, only to return six months later on a tourist visa. Fuji gave birth to her son, Domenic, in February of 2000 and then a little over a year later, she gave birth to her daughter Gemini. During their short lives, the children were often left alone over night so that Rie could be with her new boyfriend, Chris Knowler. In April, Rie moved into an apartment with her two children and for a short time Chris lived with them until he eventually moved in with his father.

On May 8, 2001, Rie left her children alone and went to visit Chris, for ten days. Giving each child only one bottle and not worrying about how they would be taken care of, Rie left the apartment and didn't return for ten days. When she did return, she found her children had both died of starvation. Rie didn't call police or anyone else, she wrapped her baby girl in a plastic bag and threw her in a dumpster and left her son where he was. Rie then returned to visit her boyfriend for four days. Rie went back to her apartment for about seven days at the end of May. On June 5, 2001, the landlord contacted the police after an eviction notice had been ignored. Prital Sandhu went into the apartment and smelled something horrible and Domenic was found. Rie was arrested on June 6, 2001.

A person has to wonder why no one heard the babies crying and went to help them.

Rie had e-mailed a friend about a week after finding her children and didn't say anything about what had happened to her children:

"Hi, how are you doin'. it is rie fuji from canada. in canada, it is very nice and hot these days.
i really love being here. I am hoping one of you guys come visit me in canada someday. bye"

Rie was arrested less than two weeks after she sent that e-mail. Rie was sent to a mental hospital where patients would watch her and in court would say that she seemed to not care about what happened to her children and that she actually seemed happy while she was there. It was reported that Rie had been having sex with several different men while she was there. Rie seemed to be very excited about a new patient named Tony Gallup, Tony was labeled a child killer and when Rie talked about him on the phone, she seemed happy he was there:

"Guess who is here, it's that famous murderer, who's been making headlines these days, who
killed that little girl in Lethbridge. He looks totally different from the picture that was published in
the newspaper"

Rie had not talked to Tony but said that he was segregated from the other people there though she said she had no fear of him at all or any other patients in the ward, she said she had talked to some of them. Rie know that what she was facing was not normal, though it wasn't until her charges were changed to second degree murder in August of 2001, she didn't realize just how serious it was:

"Many things have happened, indeed. I should write about it and publish a book once I get back
to Japan. Some publisher will be interested in my story"

Rie asked one of the people visiting her to bring her the pictures of her children from the newspaper, she said she did not have any pictures of them. Later, she said she had already received them from someone else. At some point Rie was said to have ripped the pictures out and flushed them down the toilet. When she was asked about it by another patient, Rie said it didn't matter, the pictures were gone, all the while claiming to love her children. Rie sent a letter to her parents:

"I have no idea why things turned out like this. I have never confided this to anyone, but many
times I thought I would rather die. I was happy for the three years living with Peter, but at the
same time, it was hard because he kicked and punched me. I cried many times. But no matter
how abusive Peter became, I tried my best to create a happy family. I tried my best to become
a good mother for my babies. Domenic was born at 5:17 a.m.. It was a snowy day, February
9. Gemini was born at 6:46 p.m. on February 24. When I gave birth to Dominic, for the first time
I really felt a great sense of appreciation for you, mother and father"

Rie's parents, Tomoko and Hideto Fuji knew nothing about their grandchildren or even that Rie had been living with Peter until the police had called them after she was arrested. Rie had a visitor who said that Rie had been soft spoken and was polite:

"You look somehow like my mother. I don't feel like we're meeting for the first time"

Rie stated that she was worried about how her son would get buried and she hoped that her mother and father would take care of him. When speaking of Domenic and Gemini, Rie had teared up a little bit and stopped talking. Rie did not want to talk about her children or what had happened to them, though at the end of their talk, Rie gave a letter to her visitor which she had written in English and she wanted it published in the paper. Rie had written the letter in such a way that it seemed a friend had been talking about her instead of her doing the writing:

"Rie loved Peter so much. She tried to help him so many times, but she failed. Rie was being stupid.
She should have left him long time ago. I wrote this letter because I want everybody to know what Rie
was going through"

Rie was eventually sentenced to eight years in prison, for manslaughter and in 2004, she was denied parole. After her sentencing, a Psychiatrist said that she seemed to be happy that her children were dead. After serving only five years of her eight year sentence, Rie was released and deported back to Japan.

A timeline of events:

April 1997: Rie Fujii arrives here on a visa to study English at Mount Royal College.

1998: Moves in with Peter Brown.

April 10, 1999: Returns to Japan when student visa expires. Comes back later that year on a visitor's visa.

Feb. 9, 2000: Son Domenic Ryu Brown is born.

April 10, 2000: Visitor's visa expires, but stays illegally.

Feb. 4-March 17, 2001: Moves to Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter.

Feb. 24, 2001: Daughter Gemini Brown born prematurely and spends first two weeks in hospital.

March 17-April 9, 2001: Fujii moves to Native Women's Shelter, kids cared for occasionally by Children's Cottage.

Late March 2001: Begins relationship with new boyfriend Chris Knowler.

April 10, 2001: Moves to rented apartment at 203, 126 14th Ave. S.E.

April 2001: Leaves kids at home frequently, sometimes overnight, to visit Knowler's apartment near Chinook Centre.

April 2001: Brown spots Fujii with Knowler, forces her to go with him, tells her he loves her but is rejected and never sees her or the children again.

May 3, 2001: Knowler moves out of his apartment, stays with Fujii and her children for a few days before moving to his father's residence in Cochrane.

May 8, 2001: Fujii goes to Cochrane to visit Knowler, leaving children alone in her apartment for 10 days. During that period, both die of starvation.

May 18, 2001: Returns to apartment and finds children dead. Puts Gemini's body in plastic bag and throws it into garbage dumpster.

May 20-24, 2001: Fujii returns to Cochrane to stay with Knowler, leaving Domenic's body in the apartment.

May 24-30, 2001: Returns to her apartment and is visited by Knowler, who is unaware the boy's body is there.

May 31-June 6, 2001: Stays with Knowler again.

June 5, 2001: Apartment owner Pritpal Sandhu opens door to Fujii's suite after getting no response to June 1 eviction notice, calls police after smelling rotting flesh.

June 6, 2001: Arrested for murder of Domenic.

Aug. 14, 2001: Charged with murder of Gemini.

Healines read:

Child killer deported to Japan

EDMONTON - A woman convicted of letting her infant children starve to death was deported to her native Japan Tuesday after she was released from an Edmonton prison.

Canada Border Services Agency officers accompanied Rie Fujii, 28, on a flight Tuesday morning from Edmonton to Vancouver. From Vancouver, it's believed Fujii boarded a connecting flight to Tokyo, 500 kilometres east of her family's home in southern Japan's Shimane prefecture.

Fujii was deported because she was in Canada illegally when she allowed her children, Dominic, aged 15 months, and Gemini, three months, to starve to death in her Calgary apartment while she spent 10 days with a boyfriend in Cochrane, Alta.

Fujii pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2002 and received an eight-year sentence, with credit for time served in pretrial custody.

Her release Tuesday was governed by statutory release provisions mandating offenders be allowed to serve the final third of their sentence in the community.

Parole documents repeatedly cite Fujii's desire to reunite with her family after she was freed and note she waived any right to appeal her deportation.

Calgary Herald

Death Occurred in Canada

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