Funeral held for Nathan Dumas, St. Catharines boy killed last week

A funeral service was held Friday for the seven-year-old boy who died last week in St. Catharines, Ont., leading to a murder charge against his stepfather.

Nathan Dumas was rushed to hospital last Friday but died the next day. He would have turned eight one week from now. 

His mother, Whitney Dumas attended the service held at Pleasantview funeral home in Thorold with her other children.

A remarkable feature of the funeral was the presence of a number of dogs from the St. John Ambulance-Niagara Branch Region therapy dog program.

Debbie Gagne, training co-ordinator for the branch, said Nathan had a history with the program. One of the dogs used to visit the school Nathan attended and he had developed a relationship with the animal.

Visitation was held for Dumas on Thursday.

Earlier this week, a makeshift memorial of flowers and stuffed animals was erected outside a St. Catharines sandwich shop owned by Nathan's grandparents.

Stepfather arrested

A week ago, police launched a manhunt for his stepfather, 43-year-old Justin Kuijer.

He was arrested on Tuesday in Kenora, Ont., and appeared in court Thursday to face the allegation.

Kuijer's case was put over until April 19.

Kuijer is also charged with attempted murder in connection with an attack on a female employee at a St. Catharines branch of the Royal Bank.

Whitney Dumas wrote a note on Facebook Sunday: "Your kind words and well wishes and downpour of donations have been truly overwhelming. Our Niagara regional police are truly something to be proud of. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty with support and compassion."

A GoFundMe page had raised more than $25,000 for the Dumas family as of Friday morning.