Two Manitoba teens charged with murder in beating death of young volunteer

Dakota Hunter had turned 17 only two days before his bloody, beaten body was found by the side of a road on a northern Manitoba reserve.

WINNIPEG — Dakota Hunter had turned 17 only two days before his bloody, beaten body was found by the side of a road on a northern Manitoba reserve.

The death of the quiet volunteer from the Nelson House First Nation has left family members baffled. RCMP charged two 16-year-olds from the remote reserve, 850 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, with second-degree murder on Monday.

They were taken into custody sometime after Hunter’s body was found Saturday.

“We don’t even know what, why, who,” said Colleen Hunter, his aunt. “We still have many questions to be answered. How did that happen? Why was it him?”

Hunter’s badly beaten body was found at 4:30 a.m. by RCMP officers on the reserve. He was taken to Thompson, about 45 minutes away, where he died of his injuries.

RCMP say an autopsy concluded Hunter died from “multiple injuries due to trauma.”

By all accounts, Hunter was a quiet kid who mostly kept to himself.

He had been bullied several years ago but gained some confidence by enrolling in martial arts.

He loved the sport — and won a medal for his prowess — but didn’t use it in defence against his tormentors, his aunt said.

“He wouldn’t use that for violence,” she said. “He wouldn’t defend himself to hurt somebody.”

Hunter’s story was the focus of a CBC profile four years ago, but his aunt said he had recently quit taekwondo. He was still heavily involved in running, though, and devoted time to volunteering, she said.

He helped his friend Tori Yetman raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society through her annual “Tori’s Run.” Hunter was also part of the Lance Runners Society, a Cree organization dedicated to eliminating violence.

“He was a good kid, well-liked,” his aunt said. “He was quiet. He was involved in various activities.”

Hunter was filling out all the necessary forms to get a social insurance card and his own identification, she added. He was just starting to figure out what he wanted to do with his life.

Hunter wasn’t in a gang and had a promising life ahead of him, she said.

“He was at a crossroads. There were many opportunities that he could choose from. He was making choices. At that age, it’s hard to make a concrete decision as to what career goals to make.”

He was last seen with two young men who had come looking for him at his home, she said.

RCMP Sgt. Line Karpish said a motive for the homicide is “something that is going to be presented to court, not to the media.”

Although charges have been laid, the investigation is still ongoing.

Just Posted

Alberta hiring more paramedics and buying new ambulances, none for Red Deer

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer is not concerned the provincial government didn’t… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Halifax airport operations normalize after Boeing 747 runway overshoot

HALIFAX — The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has resumed normal operations a… Continue reading

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a Bentley family left homeless… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP ready for new mandatory alcohol screening law

Red Deer RCMP are ready to enforce a new law intended to… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer and District Kennel Club Dog Show at Westerner Park

The Red Deer and District Kennel Club is holding a dog show… Continue reading

Brothers, 20, face second-degree murder charge in death of teen: police

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Police west of Toronto say two brothers have been… Continue reading

A young mayor, his friend, and a fatal attraction to opioids

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

GM fights to retain key tax credit amid plant closing plans

WASHINGTON — General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit… Continue reading

TTC union asks provincial government to step in on transition to Presto

TORONTO — The union representing transit workers in Canada’s most populous city… Continue reading

Small pot growers find roadblocks on path to microcultivation licences

Yan Boissonneault’s daughter was turning blue. Without warning, his baby had stopped… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $60 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — There was no winning ticket for the $60 million jackpot… Continue reading

In Hollywood of Mississippi, voter fraud like a movie script

CANTON, Miss. — In a town that calls itself the Hollywood of… Continue reading

Trump picks Army chief of staff as next top military adviser

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he’s picked a battle-hardened… Continue reading

Most Read