‘Lots of love’: Pet shop owner on flower tattoo after the death of his son
A pet shop owner in Hamilton is mourning the loss of his three-year-old son after his father died after falling off a tree during a fall at their home.
The owner, David Ritchie, is also dealing with the loss and said he is devastated.
“It’s just a massive shock,” said Ritchie.
“I had a beautiful life and I’m just so sad.”
Ritchie said his son had been a star at the pet shop, where he worked.
“He was just so popular,” said the owner, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he fears retribution from the business.
The business was raided last year by police after police say they received a tip that a business was trafficking children.
Police seized the business, which was in the heart of the city, as part of an investigation into child trafficking.
The raids were led by the Hamilton Police Child Exploitation Unit and took place in May.
Police said the business was the target of a tip-off, and they found children from various families living there.
The police raid on the business led to charges against a couple from Hamilton.
“The couple was arrested for trafficking children and a number of children were taken into care,” said Det.
Sgt. Joe Chipps.
“They were being housed in the premises, and we received a number or multiple tips that there was a significant trafficking activity taking place.”
The couple, who have not been charged, are facing charges including trafficking children, possession of child pornography and failing to keep children safe.
Ritchie was in custody on Thursday awaiting a bail hearing.
The father of the three-month-old boy, who is now recovering at home, was pronounced dead in hospital, said police.
Ritzer was in hospital with a broken leg.
“We’ve lost a wonderful person in this family,” said Chipp, who works at a local dog rescue centre.
“There are no words to express how sad and devastated I am at this time.”
The Ritchie family said they are devastated and ask for privacy during the investigation.
“Our hearts are broken at this tragic time,” the family said in a statement.