Phoenix Victoria Hope Sinclaire
April 23, 2000 - June 11, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial

Phoenix was born in Canada to parents Steve Sinclaire and Samantha Kematch, it was her father who gave her the beautiful name she was given. Unfortunately, both of these two people had been involved with Child And Family Services in the past with Steve having a child who had become a permanent ward of the state. Phoenix was taken away and placed at first in a temporary shelter and eventually with a foster family when her parents were found to be unfit to care for her, though her parents were given visitations with her.

In September of 2000, Phoenix was reunited her parents and conditions were placed on them keeping her, they would have to take classes on how to raise children and they would be closely supervised by CFS. In April of 2001, a sister was born, Echo joined the family and CFS did an assessment with no changes being made in the custody of the children. In June, police were at the home on a call of domestic violence and the parents separated in July of 2001. Steve was the main caregiver for the children, sadly, on July 14, 2001, Echo died of a respiratory infection.

During the summer of 2001, the case of Phoenix had been with referred to CPS several time. Steve was known to them as the main caregiver of Phoenix though it was reported that she spent most of her time at the home of a family friend by the name of Kim Edwards. CFS closed their file on Phoenix in the early months of 2002. In February of 2003, another file was opened when it was reported by medical professionals that Phoenix was being neglected after she ended up in the hospital. Phoenix had a piece of styrofoam stuck in her nose and it had been there for about four months, the staff at the hospital was concerned about this along with not being sure if Steve was going to get her much needed antibiotics that she would need to get rid of the infection caused by the styrofoam. In June of 2003, CFS removed Phoenix from Steve's care and placed her on a temporary basis with Kim Edwards that same July.

Samantha Kematch went to take her daughter for visit in April of 2004, the visit was supposed to be a temporary one. Karen had become involved with a man named Karl "Wes" McKay about the same time and for whatever reason, Phoenix went to live with time with them. Steve left the are and Phoenix was registered at a nursery school that same Fall, though the staff reported that they never saw her or Karl.

In November of 2004, a new file was opened after another baby was born to Samantha, this time with Karl. In March of 2005 the calls started coming in about the abuse of the children, the case was closed. Karl and Samantha took the children and moved to another area in April of 2005, the children included a 12 year old boy who was Karl's son from a prior relationship and his second son, who was 14 years old, lived with them off and on.

Phoenix was made to sleep in a cold basement, she was forced to eat her own vomit and was given very little food.  Karl shot Phoenix with a BB gun and played a game he called "choking the chicken", in which he would choke her until she passed out. In May of 2005 another call came in reporting neglect of the children in the home, it seems that CFS didn't take things seriously because on June 11, 2005, Phoenix died. On the day she died, Phoenix was abused by Samantha and Karl, both verbally and physically. Karl's 12 year old son testified that on the day she died, Phoenix had been beaten by Karl for over 15 minutes while Samantha watched and when they finally left the house, Phoenix was not breathing.

In July of 2005, both of Karl's sons were removed from the home by CFS and returned to their mothers. Karl and Samantha also moved during that time and had a second child in December. By this time, Phoenix was no longer in the home and people would ask where she was only to be told that she had gone to live with either her father or another family member. Karl and Samantha were arrested for trying to say that another child was Phoenix and on March 18 2006, the body of Phoenix was found in a landfill.

In December of 2008, Karl McKay and Samantha Kematch were found guilty of first degree murder and in an interview, Samantha told reporters the following:

"I failed her. She never deserved any of this to happen to her. You guys can sit there
and say I have no feelings. Well, everyone shows their emotions in different ways. Not
everyone cries. I'm one to hold in their tears. I'm not the type to freak out. I control my
crying. But I hurt inside"

Karl and Samantha were given 25 years to life and it was expected they would appeal their sentences.

Samantha wanted the opportunity to explain her comment in court that people would never know the truth about what happened and how Karl had wrongly accused her in order to not go down on the charges, alone:

"I didn't kill my daughter, I didn't do these things to her like everyone says I did. What
did I do? I loved her"

Samantha had said in court that she knew she wasn't the best mother, but she was no in a position to stop what Karl had done to Phoenix, of course Samantha also said that she was a victim of Karl's anger:

"I tried to stop it. That's where I failed her. I failed myself. But I tried to stop
McKay from doing things to her. I would even take a beating so she wouldn't
take it"

Karl said that Samantha had treated Phoenix like an animal:

"She really disliked the girl from since I met her"

Karl said that he would at times spank Phoenix on her bottom, but denied that he abused her in any way saying that Samantha had refused to allow her to eat, yelled at her, forced her to live in the basement and abused her. Karl admitted that when the found Phoenix was dead, they took her to the basement, wrapped her in plastic, taped it shut and wrapped her in a yellow rain coat before they drove her to the land fill and buried her in a shallow grave. When they got home, Samantha was insistent that they remove all traces of Phoenix from the home and she even wanted to go back to her grave, dig her up and cut off her head so she could not be identified. Karl said she told him to scrub the basement with bleach to remove any traces of blood or other DNA and he later ended up painting the floor.

Samantha said that Karl was lying:

"I get so frustrated. He's only trying to make himself look good. I loved Phoenix
and I cared for Phoenix. He's just sitting there denying he did anything"

Jurors had heard about Karl's violent past, beating the mother of his sons who had been the ones to go to the Police telling what they had witnessed in reference to the abuse Phoenix was going through. The boys had testified in court that both Karl and Samantha had been abusing Phoenix equally.



This page was created on December 21, 2014
Death occurred in Canada

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