Aunt believes Tina Fontaine ‘could still have been alive’ if police didn’t let her go - APTN NewsAPTN News

Aunt believes Tina Fontaine ‘could still have been alive’ if police didn’t let her go

APTN National News
WINNIPEG — With her voice breaking, the aunt of Tina Fontaine, the 15 year-old whose plastic-wrapped body was found in the Red River last month, says she believes her niece would still be alive if Winnipeg police hadn’t let her go shortly before her murder.

Thelma Favel said police informed her Wednesday evening that two officers briefly detained Fontaine on Aug. 8, the last day the teen was reported alive.

“She could still have been alive,” said Favel, in a phone interview from her home on the Sagkeeng First Nation. “If they were doing their job she could still be alive.”

Favel raised Fontaine since childhood.

Winnipeg Police Chief Devon Clunis confirmed in a press conference Thursday morning that a field trainer and a trainee dealt with Fontaine on Aug. 8. while spot-checking a vehicle. A man in the vehicle with Fontaine was detained for driving intoxicated. Despite a missing persons report on Fontaine, the officers let the girl go.

Clunis said the officers are under an internal investigation.

Fontaine then checked in with her care provider before eventually disappearing for good. Fontaine’s body was pulled from the Red River on Aug. 17.

Favel said Wednesday’s phone call was the first time she’d been contacted by police since the murder investigation began into Fontaine’s death.

“It’s the first time I’ve heard from them,” she said.

Favel said Fontaine’s only real link to Winnipeg was her biological mother.

“Tina never went to Winnipeg and the only one she knew was her mom,” said Favel.

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3 Responses to “Aunt believes Tina Fontaine ‘could still have been alive’ if police didn’t let her go”

  1. warrenfontaine1@gmail.com'
    Warren Fontaine September 25, 2014 at 11:21 pm #

    Based on the events reported into the WPS members actions, or lack thereof, it would appear that some WPS members would rather prosecute than help a First Nation person in their time of need. What is particularly disturbing is the fact the a senior member of the service, who had been entrusted to guide and mentor a recruit into proper and accepted police practices to become one of Winnipeg’s finest, may have neglected his duty in fulfilling his role as the trainer when he failed to detain and secure Tina for her own safety and well being as provided for in the Child and Family Services Act. In doing so, he has instilled what is a probable unwritten practice of ignoring First Nation people among some WPS personnel, that the recruit will now regret he was a party to. The tragedy is a young life was taken when Tina was there to be rescued by the people who were entrusted to protect and serve all people and no internal investigation will ever bring her back.

  2. chubby-dot@hotmail.com'
    Dorothy Alexander September 25, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    so if the car was pulled over they should be knowing who did this

  3. raamman@gmail.com'
    LaszloZoltan September 25, 2014 at 5:23 am #

    I have to wonder if the cops gave her one of their famous long drives “home”