Willow Fiddler and Dennis Ward
APTN National News
The sister of Barbara Kentner — the Anishinaabe woman who died after she was attacked with a trailer hitch — has moved away from Thunder Bay following threats targeting her children.
Melissa Kentner said she has moved out of the city to another community with her children.
“I’m going live here for the safety of the kids,” Kentner told APTN in an online conversation. “These white kids telling my kids that they are going to be the next ones found in the river or get a trailer hitch thrown at them.”
Melissa Kentner said adjusting to life without her sister has been difficult for the whole family. She said her children also needed some distance from the tragedy that befell her sister.
“The kids didn’t want to be reminded about Barb every day,” she said.
Barbara Kentner, 34, died July 4 following complications her family said were caused by the impact of a trailer hitch thrown from a moving vehicle during a targeted attack in January.
Barbara and Melissa Kentner were walking on a downtown Thunder Bay street in the early morning hours of Jan. 29 when they were noticed by a group of four individuals in a parked car. The car sped towards them and an individual fired a trailer hitch at Barbara Kentner from a passenger window.
The Kentner family says doctors told them the trailer hitch ruptured Barbara Kentner’s small intestine which triggered a fungus infection that eventually led to her death.
Thunder Bay Police charged Brayden Bushby, 18, with aggravated assault in connection with the incident. The three other people in the car are expected to be called as witnesses should the case against Bushby go to trial.
The Crown and Thunder Bay police are still waiting for autopsy results to determine whether the charge against Bushby should be upgraded to a homicide.
Thunder Bay Police spokesperson Chris Adams says police still haven’t heard back from the Coroner.
A spokesperson for the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario says the investigation into the death is ongoing. Cheryl Mahyr, speaking by phone from Toronto, said an autopsy can take days, weeks or months.
Melissa Kentner has told APTN she wants to see charges against the three other individuals in the car.