Following several months of investigating the suspicious deaths of two teenagers in Thunder Bay last May no charges are expected to be laid, APTN News has been told.
“I am not aware of any charges at this point,” said Dr. Dirk Huyer, Ontario’s chief coroner.
Given the cloud hanging over the Thunder Bay police and how it investigates violence against Indigenous people in the city, Huyer called for a more in-depth investigation from the York Regional Police a few weeks after the deaths of Josiah Begg, 15, and Tammy Keeash, 17, who went missing May 6.
Keeash’s body was found the next day about six metres into the Neebing-McIntyre floodway.
Begg’s body was found over a week later in a different part of the floodway.
The families have both been told of the results of the investigation.
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APTN reported Tuesday that Keeash’s case will remain open and has a gap investigators were not able to fill.
Keeash was left by the floodway by three family members after a night of drinking.
They originally told police Keeash had walked away because she had missed curfew at her foster home.
Her mother, Pearl Keeash, told APTN one family member allegedly had her daughter’s phone for several weeks after her death.
Police had to visit North Caribou Lake First Nation several times before the family members changed their story.
It broke Pearl Keeash’s heart when she learned this, as she said the lead investigator from York Regional Police kept her updated throughout.
“They lied to my face and said that they loved me. They even hugged outside the police station the day after we found out about my Tammy,” said Pearl Keeash of her family members.
“And I told them before we went in: ‘Please don’t hide anything. Just tell them the truth.'”
The gap is the moment they claim to have left Tammy and when she was found later the next evening.
They said they left Tammy, who was heavily intoxicated, at the top of a hill above the floodway.
But she was found about six metres, facedown and partially nude from the waist down.
“I believe something happened to her,” said Pearl Keeash.
She also wants the family members charged but it doesn’t look like that will happen.
“We believe we have obtained all the answers we’ll likely be able to obtain for both of those death investigations at this point in time,” said Huyer, adding it was a thorough investigation that also included members of the Thunder Bay and Nishnawbe Aski police departments.
Begg’s family declined to comment.
He came to Thunder Bay for a medical appointment when he disappeared.
Pearl Keeash said the cause of her daughter’s death is consistent with drowning but if it was an accident or someone caused it is unknown.
“I still have a lot of questions,” she said.