An eight-year-old girl is missing and believed dead, and Edmonton police say two adults are facing charges in her death.
In a late Friday afternoon news release, EPS revealed that investigators have been looking into the child's disappearance since Monday, and that a search for her remains is currently underway outside of the city.
A 27-year-old woman and a 66-year-old man were arrested on Thursday and both charged. The 27-year-old has been charged with first-degree murder and indignity to a dead body and the 66-year-old faces a charge of accessory to first-degree murder and indignity to a dead body.
In the news release, EPS said that neither the child nor the two accused are being identified in order to protect the identity of other children related to the girl.
In a subsequent email, an EPS spokesperson said that a publication ban is in effect in the case, but they were unable to say what information is protected under a court-ordered publication ban. On Friday, CBC asked the Ministry of Justice about what the ban entails, but has yet to receive an explanation.
On Monday, EPS west division patrol officers went to a residence in the area of 87th Avenue and 165th Street to do a welfare check on a child there, police said in the news release. When they were unable to locate the child, an investigation was launched, police say.
Homicide detectives became involved the next morning, and the two adults were arrested and charged on Thursday. Both suspects were known to the girl, EPS said.
Investigators believe the girl is deceased, and are working with other agencies, including the RCMP, to search for her remains outside the city, the release said.
'Holding on hope'
Tiana Morrison is organizing a vigil for the girl on Saturday in hopes of keeping her memory alive and making sure people know what kind of child she was.
"She was like a mama hen of the group. She was just so funny and she was so sweet and caring. She always wanted to make sure that everybody around her was smiling and happy all the time," Morrison told CBC.
The vigil is set to take place at a home in west Edmonton Saturday evening.
"We're just going to hold on to hope until she comes home," Morrison said.