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

  • District docked pay for Parkland principal who lost daughter

    World News CTV News
    Sara Smith, left, and her daughter Karina Smith visit a makeshift memorial outside the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and faculty were killed in a mass shooting on Wednesday, in Parkland, Fla., Monday, Feb. Source
  • Trump won't say if he has confidence in his deputy attorney general

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump declined to say Tuesday whether he has confidence in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, escalating pressure on the Justice Department as his White House negotiated rare access to classified documents for his congressional allies. Source
  • Teacher beats Kentucky House majority leader in GOP primary

    World News CTV News
    LANCASTER, Ky. -- A high school math teacher ousted the majority leader of the Kentucky House of Representatives on Tuesday, with a narrow win in the GOP primary race. Travis Brenda credited a groundswell of teacher support for the win and said it sends a message that teachers and public workers won't be silent. Source
  • Elderly North Korean spies jailed in South hope summit sets them free

    World News CTV News
    GWANGJU, Korea, Republic Of -- He's spent nearly six decades trapped on enemy soil, surviving 29 years in a prison where he was tortured by South Korean guards before being released to a life of poverty and police surveillance. Source
  • Reporting undocumented students is a local decision: U.S. education secretary

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Tuesday that decisions on whether to report undocumented students to authorities rest with local communities. DeVos was asked during a congressional hearing whether teachers or principals should notify authorities that a student is undocumented. Source
  • Michigan House changes Nassar bills after legal settlement

    World News CTV News
    LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan House on Tuesday scaled back legislation inspired by the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal, dropping certain measures addressed by last week's $500 million settlement between Michigan State University and hundreds of Nassar's victims and revising the time limits that survivors of childhood abuse would have to sue. Source
  • North Korean media return to angry tone as summit looms

    World News CBC News
    North Korean media stepped up their rhetorical attacks on South Korea and its joint military exercises with the United States, warning Tuesday that a budding detente could be in danger. State media unleashed three strongly worded commentaries slamming Seoul and Washington for the manoeuvres and demanding Seoul take action against defectors it claimed were sending anti-North Korea propaganda leaflets across the border. Source
  • Court boots 30-year-old son from parents' house

    World News CBC News
    An upstate New York judge Tuesday ordered a 30-year-old man to move out of his parents' house after they went to court to have him ejected. Michael Rotondo told the judge he knows his parents want him out of the split-level ranch they share. Source
  • Pilots push for shorter flight times as government finalizes new safety regulations

    Canada News CBC News
    When two Air Canada pilots mistook a San Francisco taxiway for a runway and almost crashed their plane into four fully-fuelled airliners awaiting takeoff last summer, they told investigators they were fatigued at the time. Being tired behind the controls of an aircraft is the number one safety concern pilots say they face on the job. Source
  • Sweden hands out brochure in case of 'crisis or war'

    World News CBC News
    Sweden is distributing an updated version of a Cold War-era civil emergency advice booklet to some 4.8 million households about what to do in the event of a crisis, including war. The 20-page brochure titled If Crisis or War Comes is about getting the country "better prepared" if public services have been debilitated by accidents, severe weather, IT attacks or "in the worst-case scenario, war," the Civil Contingencies Agency said. Source