By Tim Fontaine
APTN National News
SAGKEENG FIRST NATION, Man. –Tina Fontaine’s family is shocked and angry that Winnipeg Police had the 15-year-old in their custody on August 8, a day before she disappeared.
“And I just found out today that they’ve known for three weeks prior to them telling me (Wednesday),” said Thelma Favel, the great-aunt who raised Fontaine, in an interview Thursday with APTN National News.
Favel is also shocked that Fontaine was hospitalized later that same day after being found unconscious in a city alley. After spending about 4 hours in the Children’s Hospital, Fontaine was released into the custody of a child & family services worker. She then escaped from the worker.
But Favel had no idea about Fontaine’s hospitalization until a $500 ambulance bill arrived at her home on the Sagkeeng First Nation. Favel says the bill arrived shortly before the family buried Fontaine’s ashes on September 20.
“I got it on a Thursday and we buried her ashes on Saturday. And then I got this bill, “Favel said. “and it’s for $500 and it says where she was picked up and where she was taken.”
Favel says the news that Fontaine was interacting with authorities so soon before she disappeared is more painful than learning she had been murdered.
“Because she could have been saved,” she said. “They had the opportunity to save her and they didn’t.”
Fontaine’s body was wrapped in a plastic bag when it was pulled from the Red River on Aug. 17. Police say she was murdered.