ALBERTA

Police Search For Jonas Budd After Dustin Bird Found Dead, Kayla Natomagan Abducted

02/18/2015 10:49 EST | Updated 04/20/2015 05:59 EDT
Saskatchewan RCMP
LAC LA RONGE, Sask. - People in a northern Saskatchewan community were struggling Wednesday to understand the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old boy and the alleged abduction of his girlfriend.

Police continued to search for Jonas Budd, 43, who is a suspect in the killing and is wanted as part of an Amber Alert that was cancelled after 17-year-old Kayla Natomagan was found unharmed near Cranberry Portage in Manitoba.

Tammy Cook-Searson, chief of the Lac La Ronge First Nation, said the entire community was in shock.

"It's so senseless," she said. "This is a tragic event ... we're trying to deal with what has occurred and all the events that have unfolded."

Family and friends identified the dead teen as Dustin Bird, she said, adding that he was "a positive young man and a strong community member." He had been dating Kayla.

Officers responded to a report of a gunshot at Kayla's home in Lac La Ronge shortly after 3 a.m.

Police, who have not publicly confirmed Bird's identity, said they found one person dead at the scene. Kayla was "forcibly removed" from the home, they said.

She was found hours later near Cranberry Portage, about 450 kilometres away from Lac La Ronge, but police said Budd fled on foot into the bush. He was believed to be armed and dangerous.

Cook-Searson said Budd is the former boyfriend of Kayla's mother, who had a restraining order against him.

She said the community gathered at Dustin's school to support his family and friends in their grief.

"He was doing really well in school, all his teachers liked him," she said. "His grandma says he would stop in and check on her, chopping wood and making kindling. He was just a well-rounded person."

Budd's brother, Glenn Budd, said he hoped the matter would end peacefully without further bloodshed.

"He's somewhere out there," he said, adding that he was concerned for Budd's safety.

He said if he could speak to his younger brother he would tell him to "give himself up, don't hurt anybody."

RCMP Sgt. Craig Cleary said Budd is known to police. He is described as being about five-foot-nine-inches tall, weighing 170 pounds and with black hair and brown eyes.

Cleary said Budd has several tattoos, including images of a bear paw on his left forearm, an eagle head on his left calf and a ribbon with the name "Nicole" spelled out on his left shin. He also has images of feathers tattooed on his upper back.

Crown prosecutor Luke Coupal said an arrest warrant had been issued for Budd just hours before the shooting, on charges of break and enter and mischief dating back to an alleged incident in early October at the home of Natomagan's mother.

He had been scheduled to appear in court Wednesday but didn't show up.

— By Clare Clancy in Regina, with files from CJLR