NEWS
08/17/2014 04:18 EDT | Updated 10/17/2014 05:59 EDT

Girl, 15, found in bag in Red River, police seek tips on slaying

Winnipeg police have released the identity of a girl found dead in the Red River Sunday afternoon.

15-year-old Tina Fontaine was reported missing on Aug. 9. Her body was found in the Red River near the Alexander Docks around 1:30 p.m., more than a week after she was reported missing.

Police are treating Fontaine’s death as a homicide.

“It’s obvious this child didn’t put herself in the river in that condition,” said homicide investigator Sgt. John O’Donovan. “She’s definitely been exploited and taken advantage of.”

Fontaine was last seen in downtown Winnipeg on Aug. 9 wearing a white skirt, blue jacket and pink and white runners. She stood five-foot-three-inches tall and weighed about 100 pounds. 

She was known to spend time near Portage Place.

“This is a child that has been murdered. Society should be horrified,” O’Donovan said. “This is a child … That’s why we’re asking for people to come forward.”

Fontaine was from Sagkeeng First Nation and had only been in Winnipeg for a month before her disappearance. 

She was in the care of a Child and Family Services agency when she went missing, according to police.

Police said Fontaine was found wrapped in a bag, in “a condition she couldn’t have put herself in,” said O’Donovan.

Police are asking anyone with information to come forward.

O’Donovan said police can confirm she was alive on the morning of Aug. 9, but “anything further than that we would love to hear from people on.”

Anyone with information can contact police at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-8477.

2nd body recovered later Sunday night

The body of a man was also pulled out of the river Sunday evening.

The man's body was found in the river just north of Kildonan Park at around 7:30 p.m.

It's not known if the two cases are related.

Alex Cunningham, captain of the River Rouge tour boat, said he saw police drag out what appeared to be a bag from the river near the Alexander Docks.

"I was on the River Rouge for 27 years, so I've seen a lot of bodies in the river: some in handcuffs, some tied up when they surface. But that's the first one I've noticed, [in] the years I've travelled the river, in a bag," he told CBC News.

"What happens is the way the current runs in the river here, coming around through the CN bridge, bodies or whatever will wash up on the shore here or continue and catch debris along by Kildonan Park," he added.

Hofley would not confirm if the body was found in a bag.

Police do not know if the man whose body was recovered near Kildonan Park was the same person who was seen struggling in the river near The Forks on Friday.

Rescue divers spent the weekend searching the river for the man.

Hofley said police still don't know why or how the man ended up in the river.