Tina Fontaine: Murdered aboriginal teen struggled with father's violent death
Christina Commisso, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, August 20, 2014 8:11AM EDT
Tina Fontaine is being described by her family as a happy child who struggled with her father's violent death in the last few years of her life.
The 15-year-old's body was found wrapped in a bag and dumped in Manitoba's Red River on Sunday. Her murder has sparked anger in the community and has renewed calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.
For the Fontaine family, this isn't the first tragic death they've encountered.
After Fontaine's father was diagnosed with cancer her grandmother took over parenting duties, raising her granddaughter from the age of four.
Thelma Fontaine said her granddaughter was a happy child.
"She was a happy baby. She was a happy girl," Thelma Fontaine told CTV Winnipeg.
But she said that changed after Fontaine's father was beaten to death in 2011. Her grandmother said the teen struggled with the murder.
"Just this past year, that's been really, really bothering Tina," Thelma Fontaine said.
The family placed Fontaine in foster care – initially in Powerview, Man., and as of July, in Winnipeg.
Her grandmother said she was worried about the teen's move to the province's capital.
"She's never been exposed to Winnipeg life," she said.
Fontaine had run away from her foster home three times in the last year.
"I prayed every night," Thelma Fontaine said. "Prayed that she had something to eat and a warm place to sleep. I just wanted her home."
She was last seen in downtown Winnipeg on Aug. 8 and she was reported missing the following day.
Police have said Fontaine had been taken advantage of since arriving in Winnipeg.
"She's barely been in the city for a little over a month and she's definitely been exploited, taken advantage of, murdered and put into the river in this condition," Sgt. John O'Donovan of Winnipeg police's homicide unit told reporters.
Her grandmother, meanwhile, says her family will never be the same.
"Her family will never be complete again without her."
With a report from CTV Winnipeg