The body found on a Thunder Bay golf course late Sunday morning is that of a missing 17-year-old youth, the chief of Webequie First Nation confirmed.
Chief Cornelius Wabasse told APTN News the family met with police around 7:45 p.m. Sunday.
“The forensic team came in first and then the coroner called to reaffirm that it was Braiden, the body that was found this morning,” said Wabasse.
Braiden Jacob was reported missing Dec. 6.
His family had last seen him on Wednesday night when he left the hotel they were staying in. They started searching for him when he didn’t return later that night.
Community volunteers began an organized search for the missing teen on Thursday afternoon.
The youth was in the city for ongoing counselling services for trauma and grief, according to Wabasse.
“They’re very distraught, I mean it’s very emotional. Not just with the family but the extended family too,” he said.
“Even the community is impacted by the loss of a young man.”
Jacob was from Webequie, a fly-in community approximately 600 km north of Thunder Bay.
On Saturday, Thunder Bay police released further details of Jacob’s disappearance including a description of what he was wearing.
They said the youth was last seen in the early Thursday in the Limbrick area. His body was found on the golf course in Chapples Park less than 3 km away.
In a media release Sunday afternoon, police said they were dispatched to the park area around 11:30 a.m when a passerby reported a possible body.
It’s the same area where Tammy Keeash was found drowned in the floodway that runs through the park May 2017 – and the body of 32-year-old William Wapoose was discovered in September 2014.
His homicide remains unsolved.
Anna Betty Achneepineskum of Nishnawbe Aski Nation expressed frustration on Facebook over the of health services available on-reserve.
“Why is it that we have to bring our children out to an urban centre to get counselling service?” said Achneepineskum.
“It’s not right that we have a system that continues to jeopardize our children’s safety.”
Community members from Thunder Bay and other First Nations gathered on Sunday to offer support to Jacob’s family and community.
The body has been taken to Toronto for a post-mortem.