Man acquitted in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine has died: police

Reports are circling, that Raymond Cormier has died, about two hours east of Winnipeg in Kenora, with area Indigenous leaders reacting to the news. Mitchell Ringos reports.

By Kelsey Patterson

The man who was acquitted of second-degree murder in the death of First Nations teenager Tina Fontaine has died, police say.

Raymond Cormier’s death was confirmed to CityNews by Ontario Provincial Police, with a spokesperson calling it “non criminal” in nature.

The OPP said it would not provide any more details “out of respect to the families involved.”

Raymond Cormier is seen in this photo taken of evidence provided by the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench in Winnipeg on Friday, February 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve Lambert

In a Facebook post, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs extended its condolences to the Fontaine family and members of the community.

“While this news may bring some minor relief for First Nations, it also underscores the ongoing need for justice for those responsible for the sudden and tragic deaths of First Nations women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA individuals,” the AMC wrote.

“The AMC has previously expressed heartache and extreme disappointment over the acquittal and the failure of social systems that could have stopped the tragedy that followed.”

A memorial for Tina Fontaine at her grave site in 2021. (CityNews)

A Winnipeg jury found Cormier not guilty in 2018 after three weeks of testimony and 11 hours of deliberation.

Cormier was accused of killing the 15-year-old Fontaine and dumping her body in Winnipeg’s Red River. The Indigenous girl’s remains were discovered eight days after she was reported missing in August 2014.

Fontaine’s murder inspired marches and a national inquiry into the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).

Cormier was charged more than a year later.

ARCHIVE: Raymond Cormier not guilty in the murder of Tina Fontaine (2018)

“We stand in solidarity with everyone that has been and continues to be impacted by this tragic case and reaffirm our commitment to addressing systemic issues that contribute to such injustices that allow people to take the truth to their graves and leave 100s of unsolved cases that remain in the judicial system,” the AMC’s social media post reads.

“We will never forget.”

–With files from The Canadian Press

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