MONTREAL -- An paramedic who went to the home of a seven-year-old girl who died in April 2019 in Granby, Que., found that the child was not breathing and had no pulse when she arrived.

Testifying Tuesday at the trial of the child's stepmother at the Trois-Rivières courthouse, Kariane Royer recounted being dispatched with her partner on a call of the highest priority since cardiac arrest was reported.

The 38-year-old stepmother, whose identity is shielded by a publication ban, is charged with second-degree murder and unlawful confinement of the little girl.

Arriving four minutes after receiving the call, Royer said she entered the house and went to the room where the child was, where there was "a lot of heat, a lot of humidity. It was very dark," she said, adding that she felt as if she had entered "a wall of heat."

"The girl was naked in a pool of urine," Royer testified, adding that she was "very thin" and had "grayish skin."

The child had "compression marks (...) on her chest and thighs. She was very hot and clammy to the touch."

She described the room where the girl was as having no bed or mattress and that furniture was piled up. "It didn't seem to be a room," she said.

A police officer who was already there and had begun CPR "confirmed to me that she had no pulse at that time."

After connecting the child to her monitor, the paramedic found that there was no pulse. "I saw asystole [the flatline], no activity. It was a straight line," she said. Despite resuscitation attempts, the child still had no pulse after two minutes when they transported her to the ambulance.

The day before, the hearing of witnesses at the highly anticipated trial had begun with the listening of a 911 call and the testimony of the first police officers to arrive on the scene. The Crown had also told the jury that it intended to show that the seven-year-old girl was wrapped in duct tape before she was found.

Evidence included a pile of plastic that appeared to be duct tape and scissors, among other things, at the child's side.

The trial is taking place at the Trois-Rivières courthouse after having been moved from Granby in order to find an impartial jury.

The trial continues Tuesday afternoon. 

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Oct. 19, 2021.