Community waits for answers in Brady Francis's hit-and-run death

RCMP return to scene of Brady Francis's death as pressure mounts for an arrest

RCMP remain quiet as their investigation continues into the hit-and-run death of Brady Francis of Elsipogtog First Nation. 

Const. Isabelle Beaulieu said Wednesday she had no progress to report on the investigation or any pending charges. 

Francis, 22, died Feb. 24 after he was struck by a vehicle while waiting for a ride home from a party.

The incident happened in Saint-Charles, about 12 kilometres south of the Elsipogtog First Nation.

A vehicle that struck him as he waited on the shoulder of the road at about 9:30 p.m. left the scene.

Francis was found injured by friends who were passing by and he died shortly after police arrived.

After a GMC logo was found at the scene, a GMC pickup truck was seized in Saint-Charles and police interviewed the owner.

There have yet to be any arrests in the case.

In the days since the funeral service on the weekend, the community has been doing fairly well considering the loss, band councillor Ruth Levi said. 

"We haven't forgot Brady, though." 

Community waiting

Levi said the #JusticeForBrady hashtag remains strong on social media as the community waits to see the results of the RCMP investigation. 

"It's more a waiting game," she said. 

While nothing has been heard progress, "we're allowing the police to do their own investigation," she said

"Yes, we are talking about it, but just in the way of 'When is it going to happen?' and 'Is it going to happen?' Well, it is going to happen, but just when." 

Marion Francis, Brady's grandmother, confirmed the family has heard nothing recent about the investigation. 

But early on, the family was able to select "observers to sit in the RCMP's strategy investigation meetings," she said.

RCMP confirmed the arrangement, saying it was part of efforts to ensure the family is kept up to date.

In a Facebook post days before the funeral, Kenneth Francis, Brady's grandfather, asked for the community's co-operation and patience and said the investigation would "probably take a while yet."

In the meantime, Levi said, community leaders are keeping a close watch on younger members during the March break and will take steps to help if needed. 

Video tribute

Some young people are doing things to help with the healing.

Seventeen-year-old Kylie Francis spent a day creating a YouTube video in her older cousin's memory, which she titled #JusticeForBrady. 

"I just wanted to start from when Brady was a child till he grew to be the man he was."

Kylie said she gathered all the photos from Facebook posts and from a collection of family pictures while the family was gathered in Elsipogtog for the funeral service.

"It felt so powerful being home and seeing everyone's support," Kylie said. "It just made me feel so much better and it helped to be together and seeing everybody sharing all their memories and all their stories, it felt good."

The pictures Kylie chose of Brady, whom she considered an older brother, were set to a song that was a favourite of his mother, Jessica. 

The song was supposed to be played at the funeral but wasn't because of technical difficulties. 

On the same day Kylie posted her video, her mother, Karen Francis, posted a video showing her daughter singing "How Great Thou Art' in Mi'kmaq at Francis's funeral with her cousin Holly. 

"It was a big honour," Kylie said.