Winnipeg police did their best in death of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine: chief

WINNIPEG — The chief of police in Winnipeg says the force did its best to investigate the death of a 15-year-old girl whose body was pulled from the Red River.

Danny Smyth told the city’s police services board Friday that he was disappointed a jury last week acquitted the man accused of killing Tina Fontaine in 2014.

“Frankly, we did our best on this one,” Smyth said.

Raymond Cormier was found not guilty of second-degree murder in Tina’s death. Her body was wrapped in a duvet cover and weighed down with rocks when it was found in the Red River days after she was reported missing.

Smyth told the board he ”certainly had hoped for a different outcome” but added that it was clear the jury didn’t find enough evidence to convict.

“I wish we could have brought forward additional or more compelling evidence,” he said.

Smyth commended the officers who he said worked hard on the case and thanked prosecutors for taking it to trial.

“If not anything else, this trial provided transparency,” Smyth said. “The community was able to learn about the investigation. They were able to see evidence and learn about the circumstances that led up to Tina’s death.”

He suggested that one positive outcome prompted by Tina’s death is that Manitoba no longer uses hotels to house children in care.

Tina was raised by her great-aunt, Thelma Favel, on the Sagkeeng First Nation, 120 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. She left to visit her mother in Winnipeg at the end of June 2014 and became an exploited youth.

Favel called Child and Family Services with concerns about Tina, who ran away repeatedly from a youth shelter and hotels where she was placed.

She was last seen leaving a downtown hotel, where she told a private contract worker employed by child welfare that she was going to a shopping centre to meet friends.

It’s not known how Tina died. A pathologist testified at the trial that the girl’s death was suspicious because of the manner in which her body was found.

Just Posted

Growing drug-fuelled emergencies at Red Deer’s Buffalo transitional housing complex

City council approves two additional mental health staffers at complex

Climate change, receding glaciers increase landslide risk on B.C.’s Mount Meager

VANCOUVER — Climate change is causing glaciers atop Mount Meager in British… Continue reading

China, US discuss plans for trade talks

BEIJING — China’s economy czar and U.S. trade envoys discussed plans for… Continue reading

‘We’re going to have a deal very soon’: Staff briefed on possible ServiCom buyer

SYDNEY, N.S. — The sudden closure of a Cape Breton call centre… Continue reading

Equalization protests from Alberta likely pre-election talk: Quebec minister

OTTAWA — Quebec’s finance minister brushed off complaints from Alberta on Monday… Continue reading

Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio and Adriana Leon up for top CONCACAF awards

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio are up for CONCACAF male… Continue reading

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

TORONTO — Canada Soccer has named striker Jordyn Huitema and defender Derek… Continue reading

Review: Too much Spider-Man? Not in the Spider-Verse

You might be forgiven for feeling superhero overload this holiday season. Had… Continue reading

‘Modern Family’s’ Sarah Hyland had second kidney transplant

LOS ANGELES — “Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland says she had a… Continue reading

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Beyonce performs at pre-wedding party in India

Beyonce brought her star power to a pre-wedding party for the daughter… Continue reading

Kirk Douglas celebrates 102nd birthday

LOS ANGELES — Actor Kirk Douglas got to celebrate his 102nd birthday… Continue reading

Most Read