Edmonton police have charged a female youth in the death of 13-year-old Sierra Chalifoux-Thompson.
The youth has been charged with second-degree murder, police said in a news release Monday afternoon.
She cannot be named under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Staff Sgt. Brenda Dalziel refused to specify the age of the accused.
She did say the victim and accused did not have a close relationship, but knew each other through mutual friends.
Just after 11 p.m. on Friday, police were called to the area of 75th Street and Mount Lawn Road on the report of an assault.
When officers arrived, they found the teen with serious injuries. She was treated and taken to hospital by paramedics, where she was pronounced dead.
"This is a really difficult situation for homicide investigators," Dalziel said. "For first responders, for the EMS that attended and of course it's a tragedy for the family. Both families I think in this case."
An autopsy has been scheduled for Thursday. Dalziel declined to specify the cause of death.
Social media attention to case
Dalziel acknowledged all the attention the case has gotten on social media, but said investigators are relying on facts as they look at the evidence.
"I know that many things have been shared on social media," Dalziel said. "I want you to know homicide is very much aware of what has been happening and we're doing our very best to gather as much evidence as we can at this time."
Police say they're continuing to look for witnesses and any video that may have been taken on Friday night in the area.
Dalziel would not say if it's possible others could be charged in connection with Chalifoux-Thompson's death, telling reporters the file is now with the Crown.
'Full of love'
The Chalifoux family spoke to media Monday evening, gathering in the vicinity where Sierra was assaulted.
Angela Chalifoux said her daughter loved drawing, music, dancing, making videos and making people laugh.
"She knew exactly how to make somebody happy when they were upset," Chalifoux said. "The minute she walked in any room, she just lit it up."
The mother said that Sierra used to be friends with the youth charged and that they had a falling-out.
Chalifoux asked the public and the community to resist retaliating toward the youth.
"I know there's been a lot of backlash and hate pointed toward the individual that was charged — I don't want that, Sierra wouldn't want that."
Chalifoux said her daughter was a loving person who thrived on helping people.
"She was so full of love, she forgave very, very quickly. She wouldn't want her to be hurt."
Catherine Chalifoux also said the youth charged with killing her granddaughter doesn't deserve to be bullied, but she does want justice.
"But she does deserve to do time for what she did. Sierra's not ever going to come back," the grandmother said.
"I want justice for Sierra and I do hope she does time in jail."
The family is asking for anyone who was present at the assault to come forward and report to police.
"We do need answers and those guys hold the answers, whoever else was there," said Catherine Chalifoux.
A memorial for Chalifoux-Thompson was growing Monday at the location she was found by police. Flowers, stuffed animals, a red shoe and a homemade poster of childhood photographs of the victim were placed near a utility pole.