POLITICS

Saskatchewan Amber Alert suspect in custody, facing murder charge

02/20/2015 04:00 EST | Updated 04/21/2015 05:59 EDT
CREIGHTON, Sask. - A charge of first-degree murder has been laid against a man arrested after the fatal shooting of a teenage boy and the abduction of his girlfriend in northern Saskatchewan.

Police say Jonas Budd, 43, surrendered late Thursday evening in Sturgeon Landing, Sask., close to the Manitoba boundary.

"At approximately 10:30 p.m., Budd was taken into custody without incident." said RCMP Sgt. Craig Cleary.

Officers had maintained a perimeter around the home of Budd's brother for nearly a day. They had been communicating with Budd to try to bring about his surrender. Cleary says the Mounties had a strong presence at the site.

"There were in excess of 40 members. We had multiple units attending from Saskatchewan and Manitoba. If I'm not mistaken, we also had members from Alberta assisting us."

Besides the murder charge, Budd is facing six other counts, including kidnapping with a weapon, uttering threats, break and enter, plus three weapons-related offences.

The search for Budd began Wednesday after Dustin Bird, 17, was fatally shot in Lac La Ronge, Sask.

An Amber Alert was issued for his girlfriend, Kayla Natomagan, a 17-year-old resident of the Lac La Ronge First Nation.

The alert was cancelled when she was found unharmed near Cranberry Portage in Manitoba, about 450 kilometres from her home.

Tammy Cook-Searson, chief of the Lac La Ronge First Nation, has said Budd is the former boyfriend of Natomagan's mother, who had a restraining order against him.

Budd's sister, Joyce, posted a note on her Facebook site following his arrest. Her message read: "End of it. My brother is in custody. Thank you for the support to many family and friends and friends of Jonas's and new friends made through this difficult time."

Budd will appear in a La Ronge, Sask., courtroom on Monday.

— by Ken Trimble of The Canadian Press