WINNIPEG — Manitoba RCMP say the younger sister of Tina Fontaine, an indigenous girl whose body was found in a Winnipeg river three years ago, was found safe and sound Tuesday.
Sarah Fontaine, who is 16, had been missing since last week.
Her great-aunt, Thelma Favel, said Sarah had been reeling from the violent killings of three family members in recent years.
"All I wanted was for her to be found safe and sound and to go back home," Favel said Tuesday. "I was just crying when (a social worker) told me she was found."
Tina Fontaine was 15 when her body, wrapped in a plastic bag, was pulled from the Red River on Aug. 17, 2014.
The death shocked Winnipeg and prompted renewed calls for an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women.
Sarah and Tina's father, Eugene Fontaine, had been beaten to death three years earlier. 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.
Favel, who cared for both girls for several years, said earlier this week Sarah was despondent over the tragedies. She feared Sarah would face violence as well, and pleaded with her through the media to return to the Winnipeg home where she had been staying for the last year.
Sarah has been though a lot of pain, Favel said. But she said Sarah has a lot to offer and is a good mother to her young daughter.
"She is a good mother. She's very, very good," she said.
"I'm just so happy she's been found."
Tina Fontaine had only been in Winnipeg a few weeks, after leaving Favel's home on the Sagkeeng First Nation, when she disappeared. She was in the care of Child and Family Services, but police said Tina became an exploited youth in the Manitoba capital.
Raymond Cormier, a man with a long criminal record originally from New Brunswick, has been charged with second-degree murder in Tina's death.
Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press