NEWS

Teresa Robinson Case: 15-Year-Old Charged With First-Degree Murder

03/18/2016 04:42 EDT | Updated 03/19/2017 05:12 EDT

WINNIPEG — RCMP have charged a 15-year-old boy with first-degree murder in the death of an 11-year-old girl on a reserve in northern Manitoba.

Supt. Paulette Freill said Friday that the killing of Teresa Robinson was "absolutely senseless and horrific."

teresa robinson

Teresa Robinson is shown in a photo from the Garden Hill First Nation Facebook page. (Photo: Handout/CP)

"As a parent and as a mom, I can only imagine how incredibly difficult the past 10 months have been for this family," said Freill. "And I want to thank them for their continued courage and strength throughout this ordeal."

Teresa disappeared last May after leaving a birthday party on the Garden Hill First Nation, a fly-in community about 500 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.

It was initially believed that the girl was killed by a bear.

Her remains were found by searchers in the days that followed and Mounties ruled her death a homicide.

RCMP conducted DNA testing of 2,000 males

Six weeks ago, RCMP took the unusual step of asking about 2,000 males between 15 and 66 on the reserve to volunteer samples of their DNA. Mounties said it was the largest DNA sweep in the province and possibly the country.

Staff Sgt. Jared Hall said he couldn't reveal if the sweep led to the arrest or if the boy charged provided his DNA.

"Logic is there that forensics and DNA have a place in this case," Hall said.

He also wouldn't say if the accused and victim knew each other. The boy, who can't be named under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is from the reserve and was arrested there Thursday.

Hall said the investigation continues, although officers don't believe anyone else was involved in Teresa's death.

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