A four-year old girl dies tragically; her family helpless to save her when her life was in danger

Keira with her stepfather and 8 month old brother. The photo is from the family's website forlittlekeira.com

On February 9th, four-year old Keira Kagan tragically lost her life. Her broken, lifeless body was found lying at the base of a cliff in Rattlesnake Point Conservation area in Ontario. Keira was expected back home on Sunday after her weekend visit with her father, Robin Brown. Her father’s dead body was found next to hers at the base of the cliff.

Keira’s mother Dr. Jennifer Kagan and stepfather Philip Viater saw their worst fears come to life. The couple repeatedly warned and pleaded with child services and the courts to allow them to protect their daughter, seeking limited visitation access by secure measures.

Kagan’s friend, Rebecca Fishman Diamond wrote “This devastating tragedy could have been prevented if the legal system had listened to their endless pleas. This world lost a true gem and life will never be the same.”

“I want the public to know that this was a murder. The guy was a psychopath that we’ve been warning about for three years.” Viater told reporters.

In 2018, a judge described Brown’s behaviour as “aggressive and somewhat bullying”. Aware of Kagan’s reported experiences of violence, aggression and abuse with Brown throughout their marriage, the judge still granted Brown generous access rights which allowed him to spend three out of four weekends and two weekdays with their daughter.

Police were called on multiple occasions because Brown repeatedly refused to comply with the terms of the court ordered custody arrangement. His access rights were suspended for a week in October and immediately reinstated with a warning from the judge. Just last week, police were called by Kagan and Viater, because Brown was refusing to let Keira get out of his car. Brown’s behaviour became increasingly concerning. Keira’s mother and stepfather feared for her safety, but Keira’s fate was in the hands of the judicial system and they were helpless despite all of their efforts to protect her.

“It’s his weekend with her; how can we release her into his care?” Viater wrote to their lawyer in a text the night that Keira was released to her father’s care for the last time. The family had no choice but to adhere to the governing court ruling. A court date was set for the following week to contest Brown’s access rights, again. At that point, they feared for Keira’s safety, but were legally bound to release her into her father’s care.

Kagan said that she was not shocked or surprised when police told her that her daughter was found dead. She explains that “There had been so many red flags and many warning signs flags. I had been shouting from the rooftops to try to protect Keira for nearly four years and the powerful individuals entrusted to make decisions in her best interest had not listened. In the current court system, a child like Keira never stood a chance.”

Keira was the daughter of the niece of well known Montreal entertainment impresario Sheldon Kagan.

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