Murder charge laid in death of Tina Fontaine

WINNIPEG -- A man has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of a Manitoba teenager whose fate galvanized calls for an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal girls and women.

See Full Article

Tina Fontaine was just 15 years old when her body, wrapped in a bag, was found in the Red River in August 2014. She was supposed to have been in a group or foster home in Winnipeg, but she had run away.

Winnipeg police say Raymond Joseph Cormier, 53, was arrested in Vancouver this week. He remained in custody on Friday while arrangements were being made to return him to Winnipeg.

"Investigators know that Tina was highly vulnerable and was exploited during her time on the run," deputy police Chief Danny Smyth said at a news conference in Winnipeg.

"Investigators discovered that Tina frequented a residence on the east side of the city. Investigators also discovered that Raymond Cormier often frequented that same residence.

"It's believed that Tina and Cormier were acquainted."

Smyth said Cormier is originally from New Brunswick but has lived in Winnipeg for some years. Smyth said Cormier has a long criminal history with convictions across the country that include violent offences.

Calls for an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women intensified after Fontaine's death, but the Harper Conservatives refused to hold one. The new federal Liberal government announced this week that it will go ahead.

"The murder of this child -- and let's not forget she was a child -- has shocked and outraged our community. And I think that outrage has resonated across the nation," Smyth said.

Tina had spent much of her life with her great-aunt, Thelma Favel, on the Sagkeeng First Nation, about 70 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. The girl had a history of running away and went to Winnipeg about a month before her death to visit her biological mother.

Favel had asked a child-welfare agency for help with Tina.

The girl was in a vehicle pulled over by two officers more than a week after she was first reported missing July 31, 2014, but she was not taken into custody. Her body was found nine days later.

Police said their investigation had not determined whether the officers knew Tina's identity at the time, or whether they were aware she had been reported missing.

Favel said the officers did know the girl had been reported missing. She said that social workers told her that on that night -- a few hours after police came across Tina -- the girl was found passed out in an alley downtown. Paramedics took her to a nearby hospital.

Favel said Tina was kept for a few hours until she sobered up, then social workers picked her up at the hospital. She ran away again, was reported missing again, and was found in the river on Aug. 17.

"Society would be horrified if we found a litter of kittens or pups in the river in this condition. This is a child. Society should be horrified," Sgt. John O'Donovan said at the time the body was discovered.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Treyvonne Willis denied new trial

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Manitoba's highest court has denied a new trial for a man who claimed he carried out a contract killing under duress after he was threatened with death himself over a drug debt. Treyvonne Willis, 24, was convicted by a jury in April 2015 of first-degree murder for the stabbing death of 26-year-old Kaila Tran outside her St. Source
  • Hawaii summits could get more than 2 feet of snow

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- The summits of Hawaii's Big Island could get more than two feet of snow, with a winter storm warning in effect through Saturday. Yes, it snows in Hawaii, Matthew Foster, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said he had to explain to some surprised out-of-state callers Friday. Source
  • Toronto-area doctor charged with first-degree murder in wife's death

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Police say a Toronto neurosurgeon is to appear in court Saturday facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of his wife. The body of Elana Fric Shamji, 40, was found Thursday in Vaughan, Ont. Source
  • Military advances fight against sexual misconduct

    Canada News CTV News
    Days after victims of military sexual assault raised concerns about lenient sentences, CTV News has learned of a new directive from Canada’s top soldier to remove from their jobs anyone who has committed sexual misconduct. Source
  • What U.S. presidents said about ties with China and Taiwan

    World News CTV News
    President-elect Donald Trump spoke Friday with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, a highly unusual and probably unprecedented move since the U.S. broke diplomatic ties with the self-governing island in 1979 and shifted to diplomatic recognition of China under a so-called "one-China" policy. Source
  • 21 Chinese miners trapped for 4 days confirmed dead

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- Twenty-one miners who were trapped for four days after an explosion hit their unlicensed coal mine have been confirmed dead, and four people have been arrested in connection with the disaster, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday. Source
  • Possible faculty member fatally stabbed at USC

    World News CTV News
    Los Angeles officials say a possible faculty member has been fatally stabbed at the University of Southern California. Los Angeles police Officer Drake Madison says the stabbing happened Friday afternoon and that the victim was a possible faculty member. Source
  • Professor fatally stabbed on USC campus, student arrested

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- A professor was stabbed to death on the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles on Friday and a suspect arrested in his death is a male student, a police spokeswoman said. Source
  • Amber Alert issued for Layla Sabry, 9, last seen in Welland, Ont.

    Canada News CBC News
    Police in Ontario have issued an Amber alert for a missing nine-year-old girl. Niagara Regional Police say Layla Sabry is believed to have been abducted. They describe Layla as white, about four-foot-two, with a thin build, brown hair, and brown eyes. Source
  • 21 Chinese miners die after 4 days trapped

    World News CBC News
    China's state-run Xinhua News Agency says 21 miners who were trapped for four days after an explosion have been confirmed dead. One is missing. Xinhua quoted Heilongjiang provincial authorities in northeast China as saying the miners' deaths were confirmed on Friday night. Source