Tragedy as toddler, 3, died after her cereal was poisoned at a sleepover

A 'loving' little toddler died after SHE ate poisoned cereal at a sleepover and began throwing up, police say.

Three-year-old Bernice Nantanda Wamal was staying over with a friend who was living in the same building as the family on March 7.

According to her mother, Maurine Mirembe, the friend who was letting her daughter stay over, called in the morning to let her know little Bernice had begun throwing up after breakfast.

Her mum said Bernice was "so weak" and her mouth was "gray" when she rushed to check in on her.

Maurine told CTV at the time: “When I went upstairs, I found Bernice laying in a chair… she was so weak and when I checked her mouth it was gray.

“I even squeezed her middle finger to see if the blood was moving, but nothing.”

Bernice and the other child were rushed to the hospital and the friend made a full recovery eventually.

But the three-year-old died shortly after being admitted, police say.

Francis Ngugi, a 45-year-old Toronto native, was arrested and charged over the weekend.

Ngugi aces two counts of administering noxious substances to endanger life, two counts of unlawfully causing bodily harm, and one count of criminal negligence resulting in death.

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Toronto Police are reporting the suspect accessed "a controlled substance from his employment" which was then placed "into a children's breakfast cereal" during the sleepover.

Ngugi appeared in court on Sunday, but officers have not yet released details of a motive behind the attack, or the role the defendant allegedly played in the death of Bernice.

“It’s a tragedy which I don’t want to remember… I only pray to God for Bernice to get justice,” Bernice’s father told The Daily Beast.

He described his daughter as “so friendly and loving.”

“What can I tell you about Bernice… she was so adorable, a baby everyone would like to have in life.

“A child any parent would be proud of.”

The dad shared clips of his daughter playing and dancing around.

A GoFundMe page was set up after her death to help pay for the child's funeral, with a goal of CAD $20,000 (£11,000), but has since raised almost $45,000 (£26,000).

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“Three years ago, my daughter came into this world, a beacon of light, beautiful and shining bright… To all those who knew her, she was full of life, had lots of love to give and even more laughter to share,” Mirembe wrote on the page.

“Sunday, March 7th, 2021 may have been sunny for most, but for me, it’s the day my baby breathed her last, left this World, and moved onto the next.”

She added: “There are so many questions and so few answers, this may not fix what’s forever broken inside of me, but it will be a start for me to get closure until I can find out what happened to my baby.”

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