Death of Tina Fontaine

death of a First Nations girl in Manitoba

Tina Michelle Fontaine was a First Nations girl who went missing in Winnipeg in August 2014 and was found dead several days later. She is one of the many missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.



Tina was Ojibwe and Cree. Her grandfather from her dad's side survived the Canadian Indian residential school system. Because of his experiences, he was a violent alcoholic. Her father, Eugene Fontaine, left the Sagkeeng First Nation and moved to Winnipeg, where he too became addicted to alcohol.

Tina's mother was from Bloodvein First Nation, 250 km north of Winnipeg. She was taken out of home at the age of 6 and was put into foster care. When she was 10, she was taken away from her family forever. At that point, she was sexually abused and started to use drugs. Her mother was 12 when she met her father, who was 23. She ran away from foster care in order to be with Tina's dad.

In 1996, Tina's older sibling was born. Tina's mom was 14. This child was taken away forever by family services.

Tina was born on January 1, 1999. Her other sibling was born in 2000.

When Tina was 1, she was taken away from her family by family services. She was taken away again when she was 2 and placed with her father. When Tina was 5, her father placed her and a younger sibling with a great-aunt. She lived much of her life on the Sagkeeng First Nations Reserve in rural Manitoba.

In 2011, Tina's father was beaten to death. Her aunt said that the death of Tina's father affected her. Even though Tina could have received grief counseling, she did not. Tina started to skip school, not do assignments, get into fights, and hurt herself. She was suspended from school and was reported missing three times. Her family kept asking for help from family services.

Disappearance and discovery


In June 2014, Tina went to Winnipeg in order to meet her mother.

  • August 5: Fontaine calls her social worker. Family Services and Winnipeg Police come. She was reported as missing between August 5 and August 8.
  • August 8: Fontaine checks in at a youth shelter during the early morning but leaves. At 5:15AM, two police officers found her in a truck with a driver who was thought to be drunk. They did not take her into custody. At 10AM, she is found passed out in an alley and taken to the hospital. She leaves the hospital and is checked into a hotel. She leaves the hotel.
  • August 9: Tina Fontaine is reported missing.
  • August 17: Around 1:30PM, a body is found in the Red River. It was wrapped and weighed down with rocks. It was Tina's body. An autopsy could not determine a cause of death.

A woman named "Katrina" said she was with Fontaine before she disappeared. Here is her version of what happened:

  • August 7: She meets Fontaine between 10 and 11PM.
  • August 8: Around 2:30AM, she and Fontaine go to eat at a youth shelter. Katrina believes Fontaine is drunk. She asks the staff to keep her overnight, but Fontaine does not give her name and leaves. They meet up around 8PM, after Fontaine leaves the hotel.
  • August 9: Around 3AM, a man approaches the two and offers Fontaine money for sex. She accepts and leaves with him. Katrina tries to follow them but loses them in the dark.

In December 2015, a man named Raymond Joseph Cormier was charged with Fontaine's murder. On February 22, 2018, he was found not guilty.