NEWS

Rinelle Harper case: 2 males charged with attempted murder

11/12/2014 10:29 EST | Updated 01/12/2015 05:59 EST
On mobile? Watch the police press conference here

Two males have been arrested and face attempted murder charges in connection with the attack on 16-year-old Rinelle Harper, Winnipeg police say.

More information will be made at an 11 a.m. CT news conference Wednesday.

Harper nearly died after she ended up in the frigid waters of the Assiniboine River near the Midtown Bridge. She was attacked Friday evening and found just east of the bridge at about 7 a.m. Saturday.

The teen was in stable condition in hospital Wednesday.

Harper was out with friends in Winnipeg's South Broadway area on Friday.

Investigators believe she was sexually attacked on the river walk along the river, near the bridge. She then ended up in the water.

A passerby found her unconscious along the river walk a short time later, and she was rushed to hospital in critical condition, according to police.

It's unclear how Harper ended up in the river or how she got out.

Family members told CBC News that Harper is from the Garden Hill First Nation in northern Manitoba, but she has been living in Winnipeg with family while she goes to Southeast Collegiate, a high school for aboriginal students that is owned and operated by nine northern Manitoba First Nations.

On Wednesday, her school released the following statement:

Statement from Southeast Collegiate

Staff and students of Southeast Collegiate are trying to come to terms with this horrific assault on one of our own.

As many students who were looking forward to the long weekend, Rinelle was no different. After completing the week of scheduled midterms, she had left the Collegiate Friday night with her parents for a much-deserved rest.

Administration of Southeast Collegiate were informed by the Winnipeg police and the family regarding the discovery of Rinelle Saturday morning.

Southeast Collegiate has spent the long weekend comforting her classmates, as well as providing ongoing support to Rinelle and her family. In-house counselling support has been made available for staff and students.

We are extremely thankful of the remarkable progress she has made since Saturday. We are wishing her a speedy recovery and hope she returns to school soon.

We are asking for privacy for our staff and students at this time, while we deal with this unfortunate event.

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