Delaine Copenace, 16, found dead in Lake of the Woods in Kenora
Remains of missing teen identified Tuesday afternoon
The remains of teen Delaine Copenace, who has been missing almost a month, have been discovered in the Lake of the Woods in Kenora, Ont.
City of Kenora employees confirmed remains were found Tuesday shortly after 8 a.m., at a dock at the end of Water Street, Ontario Provincial Police said. An OPP building is also located at the end of Water St.
Provincial police released a statement just after 1 p.m. CT saying Copenace's remains were found.
The 16-year-old had been reported missing from Kenora on Feb. 28, police said. A number of searches were done in Kenora and Winnipeg.
On March 14, police announced they had called off the ground search for Copenace.
- Delaine Copenace search: Kenora OPP suspends ground, underwater search
- Delaine Copenace's family makes plea for her safe return in Kenora
The investigation is in the early stages and a forensic identification unit is on scene, police said.
OPP would not confirm whether foul play is suspected or provide any other details about the scene where Copenace was found.
The coroner has been contacted and is attending the scene.
Anita Ross, Copenace's mother, told CBC News Tuesday morning she had been contacted by police and planned to meet with investigators.
"The family of Delaine Copenace would like to thank everyone for the continuous support and prayers," said a statement released on behalf of the Ross and Copenace families by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
"At this time Delaine's loved ones are asking that their privacy be respected as they take some time together to grieve the devastating loss of their daughter, sister and granddaughter and friend."
Brian Ostaff manages the Subway restaurant in Kenora and is a friend of Delaine Copenace's sister. His business had displayed a missing persons poster with hopes it would lead to tips about Copenace's whereabouts.
"It was sad today because her sister came in here and she asked us to take down the sign," said Ostaff.
'Another tragedy in our community'
The Bear Clan Patrol, a North End Winnipeg watch group, helped conduct searches in Winnipeg.
"It's another tragedy in our community," said Bear Clan Patrol founder James Favel. "It's not our community here in Winnipeg, but our community at large in Canada, that we've lost another youth."
Favel said the fact people came together in multiple communities in Manitoba and Ontario to help find Copenace is encouraging.
"It shows people were paying attention, people did get the message," Favel said, adding he expects a vigil will be held for her in Winnipeg.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection was involved in the search for Copenace and released a statement Tuesday.
Child protection agency shares condolences
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection would like to offer its sincerest condolences to the Copenace and Ross families for their loss of Delaine. Our thoughts are with them, their friends and community today....
The Canadian Centre, through its national missing children resource and response centre (MissingKids.ca), worked closely with Anida and Tony (parents) and law enforcement on the case.
Our heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who assisted in the search for Delaine. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) worked tirelessly in their efforts and the investigation continues.
Any information, no matter how small it may seem, could be the tip that leads to answers for this family. Tips or information can be provided to OPP at 1-888-310-1122.