The body of Serena McKay, 19, was found Sunday evening in Sagkeeng First Nation. Two teenage girls have been arrested and charged in her death. (Del Daniels/Facebook)
2 teenage girls from Sagkeeng First Nation charged with 2nd-degree murder in McKay’s death
CBC News Posted: Apr 26, 2017
The chief of Manitoba’s Sagkeeng First Nation wants the video of a vicious attack on a young woman — some say the same woman later found dead in the community — pulled off Facebook.
The body of the woman believed to be the victim in the video, 19-year-old Serena McKay, was found Sunday night near a home in the community 100 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.
The video is disturbing and its continued existence is extremely difficult for McKay’s mom, who hasn’t even seen her daughter’s body yet, said Chief Derrick Henderson.
“I know the mom personally. It’s very hard for her,” he said, adding he hopes she will see her daughter on Wednesday and then funeral arrangements will be made.
“Today’s going to be a tough day for her,” he said.
Two teenage girls from the community have been charged with second-degree murder in McKay’s death. The girls, aged 16 and 17, cannot be identified due to provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Both are being held in custody.
All three went to Sagkeeng Anicinabe High School, but McKay lived in the neighbouring community of Powerview-Pine Falls.
The video, which has been shared many times on Facebook, shows a girl being beaten but doesn’t clearly identify anyone.
“I’ve asked Facebook and I’ve asked the major crimes unit to get that video removed, whatever it takes,” Henderson said. “I mean that’s part of the investigation again, right? It’s evidence.
“It’s pretty hard once it gets out there, I guess. But there must be some mechanism there available.”
RCMP are aware of the video, but a spokesperson would not confirm whether the person being attacked is McKay. Sgt. Paul Manaigre said officers are reviewing the video to determine if it is relevant to their investigation.
He also said the video is being passed around via Facebook Messenger, which means it cannot be controlled by Facebook but only by those sharing it.
Henderson hopes the homicide sparks a conversation that starts to bring changes to Sagkeeng.
”It’s devastating for everybody. Even me, as a leader, it’s so hard to stomach, but we have to continue and move forward and try to make it a better place for our people,” he said.
“I’m not sure what the circumstances are of what happened but I know a lot of it can be related to lots of factors like addictions. I know that’s an issue in my community, it’s an issue everywhere, and we need to deal with those things.”
Henderson also wants to see parents held more accountable for keeping an eye on their children.
“They need to be more responsible towards their children: ‘Where are you? Why are you not home?’ Things like that,” he said. “Where’s the moms and dads?”
Henderson plans to speak about those issues at a vigil for McKay planned for Thursday at 6 p.m. in Sagkeeng.
McKay was last seen by a family friend on Saturday evening and was reported missing to Powerview RCMP on Sunday around 6 p.m.
As officers searched the area, they received a call two hours later — around 8 p.m. — that her body had been found.