Younger sister of Tina Fontaine now missing, struggling with tragedy: family

Sister of Tina Fontaine now missing: family

HASH(0xb494cc)

WINNIPEG — The sister of a Manitoba teen who became one of the poster children for the issue of missing and murdered indigenous woman is now missing herself and her family says it all stems from the tragedies she has experienced in her life.

Sarah Fontaine, 16, has lost a father, a sister and a cousin in recent years. She is the younger sister of Tina Fontaine, the 15 year old whose body was found wrapped in a bag in the Red River on Aug. 17, 2014.

“Her and Tina were just inseparable. They were always together, and then when she lost Tina, she felt she just lost everything,” Thelma Favel, the great-aunt who took care of the girls from a young age, told The Canadian Press Monday.

“There were just too many memories that she never really faced.”

Eugene Fontaine, father to both Sarah and Tina, was beaten to death on the Sagkeeng First Nation, northeast of Winnipeg, on Oct. 31, 2011. His death was what caused Tina to spiral downward and require foster care, Favel and others have recounted.

Two men pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Eugene Fontaine’s death. Another man has been charged with murder in Tina’s case and is currently awaiting trial.

Last month, the girls’ cousin, Jeanenne Fontaine, 29, died after being shot in the back of the head in a Winnipeg house that was set on fire.

“(Sarah) talked about it. She just wanted to know what was happening to the Fontaine family — why they were being murdered,” Favel recalled.

Sarah Fontaine got pregnant after Tina was killed, Favel said, and had been living in a Winnipeg-area home with her infant and receiving counselling for about a year.

RCMP reported the girl missing last week. Favel said Sarah drove to Favel’s home.

“She wanted to come back home here but she’s not ready. She didn’t receive the proper counselling that she needed.”

Favel said she called police when Sarah arrived last week and the girl and her baby were taken into new, separate homes in Winnipeg-area.

On Monday, Favel learned Sarah had disappeared again.

In a news released issued over the weekend, the RCMP said Sarah was last seen on Sunday morning in the Polo Park area of Winnipeg and was last heard from on Sunday afternoon.

She is described as Indigenous, 5-foot-3 with a heavier build. She was last seen wearing a pink hoodie, black pants with white lettering and was carrying a large, shiny red purse.

“I just want to tell Sarah, ‘Please, Sarah, go back home. You’ll get help, and that we love you,'” Favel said.

“I just want her safe.”

Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Happy ending to Tom Sawyer’s story

Happy ending to story of a cat left on the side of the road to die

Many Hats newest performer right on (comedic) time

Many Hats newest production in Penticton is the comedy, Buying the Moose

Art gallery heating things up with chilli cook-off

Penticton art gallery pits local chefs against one another for a fundraiser

Veteran reporter to stay at Global Okanagan

Blaine Gaffney was given a layoff notice after a miscommunication

Column: Disappointed by comments about local rally

Dustin Godfrey is a reporter for the Penticton Western News

What’s happening

Check out what is happening this weekend in the Okanagan-Shuswap.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Olympic dreams come true for South Okanagan coach

Penticton coach watches as his skier brings home the gold

Vancouver artist’s cartoon of Florida school shooting resonates

Cartoon shows football coach, one of the victims, meeting others killed in school shootings

Trudeau family arrives in India for state visit

Seven-day visit includes meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Military seeks DNA experts to help ID missing war dead

Federal program recovers, identifies and arranges burials for Canada’s nearly 28,000 missing war dead

Ski Patrol and SAR search for missing skier

Man’s truck found in Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s parking lot covered in ‘several days’ snow’

B.C. man brings dog to court as ‘best witness’

Man is defending himself on charges of uttering threats, possessing weapon for dangerous purposes

Most Read