- Category: news
- Created: Tuesday, 27 August 2013 13:58
- Published: Tuesday, 27 August 2013 13:58
- Written by Administrator 3
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Family, community mourn boy's death
BY KERRY BENJOE, LEADER-POST, FILES FROM VANESSA BROWN
The Kahkewistahaw First Nation is a community in mourning, its chief said on Friday.
"As you can imagine, our community is in a state of disbelief and shock," said Chief Sheldon Taypotat. "We are working with a crisis team to ensure the families are supported during this time of grief. We are a small community and a tragedy such as this affects us deeply."
He extended condolences on behalf of the chief and council to the family of sixyear-old Lee Allan Bonneau, at a news conference held Friday afternoon on the First Nation located 12 kilometres northeast of Broadview.
Bonneau was found injured shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday on the First Nation.
He was transported to hospital in Broadview, where the little boy died of his injuries.
Taypotat made the statement beside the Kahkewistahaw Education and Sports Complex - the very site the youngster was last seen.
Investigators have determined that Bonneau was last seen Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. outside the complex, where he was playing with dogs.
In a statement released by the RCMP, Bonneau's mother described her son as a fun-loving boy with a deep laugh who loved the outdoors.
Instead of getting ready for Grade 2, the family has to prepare to prepare to bury the boy. "We respectfully ask for your prayers for the families affected by this," said Taypotat. He said the site where searchers located Bonneau on Wednesday night is considered sacred. Plans are underway to host traditional First Nation ceremonies there in honour of Bonneau.
Although several community members were present for the news conference, they quickly left after the chief made his statement.
Raymond Shingoose, executive director of Yorkton Tribal Council Child and Family Services, said Bonneau was not in the care of his agency.
However, YTCCFS was providing support services for the community because Kahkewistahaw falls under the agency's jurisdiction, "Just like any community, this can happen anywhere in Saskatchewan or Canada," he said. "(The community) is taking it quite hard and we are doing whatever we can to provide what we can in any way possible."
He said the agency is working closely with the community, the RCMP and with the Ministry of Social Services. Shingoose said he did not have any information to explain why Bonneau was on the First Nation.
The province has confirmed the boy was in the care of the Ministry of Social Services.
The tragic events began late Wednesday evening.
Bonneau was reported missing by his caregiver at 10 p.m. Twenty minutes later searchers located the critically injured boy.
He was located by community members in an open area along a tree line on the First Nation with injuries that investigators have determined are consistent with a suspicious sudden death.
Broadview RCMP and the RCMP Major Crime Unit South are continuing the investigation into the sudden death. On Thursday, RCMP Major Crime Unit - South, Regina RCMP Forensic Identification
Services, and Regina RCMP Police Dog Services conducted a thorough search of the area where Bonneau was located. Investigators obtained statements from witnesses, including individuals who were in the area where Bonneau was located.
Friday afternoon, RCMP prepared to launch the dragonfly - a helicopter with a camera - to aid in the investigation.
"It is used in these types of investigations to get a bird'seye view of the scene itself, " said RCMP spokesman Sgt. Craig Cleary.
Cleary said the RCMP is working and investigating every lead.
"We have strong, trained members who are familiar with these types of investigations, partnering with other units and agencies both within the RCMP as well as externally," he said. "The big thing is that we are waiting on right now is the cause of death from the autopsy."
Cleary stated earlier that the injuries sustained by Bonneau are what the RCMP would consider suspicious in nature. A forensic autopsy was ordered for Friday, but the results have yet to be released.
So far, no charges have been laid in relation to this investigation and the RCMP does not have anyone in custody.
"We have leads that we are following up on," said Cleary.
Investigators are asking anyone with information about Bonneau's death to contact
Broadview RCMP at 306-696-5200 or Crime Stopper sat1-800-222-8477.