November 3, 2008 / 5:22 PM / in 9 years

Father of frozen toddlers pleads guilty: report

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The father of two small girls who froze to death in January wearing only diapers and light shirts pleaded guilty to criminal negligence on Monday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp said.

Christopher Pauchay -- who family members say was drunk at the time -- had been trying to walk to a neighbor’s home with his daughters Santana and Kaydence, aged 1 and 3, on a night when temperatures dipped below -35 degrees Celsius (-31 degrees Fahrenheit).

Pauchay, 24, was found hours later with severe frostbite and hypothermia. The family lived on the Yellow Quill First Nation Indian reserve in the Western Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

The CBC said Pauchay was likely to be sentenced in late December. Alcohol abuse is a problem in many aboriginal communities, which suffer from poverty, high unemployment and numerous health and social problems.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Peter Galloway

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