Mauling victim's disappearance not reported to Mounties for 3 days

Family members of 11-year-old Teresa Cassandra Robinson, who was found mauled and killed by an animal on Manitoba's Garden Hill First Nation this week, say she was a brave girl who would have turned 12 in a couple of days.

Searchers traumatized by what they saw at 'horrific scene' where Teresa Robinson, 11, was found

Family members of 11-year-old Teresa Cassandra Robinson, who was found mauled to death by an animal on Manitoba's Garden Hill First Nation this week, say she was a brave girl who would have turned 12 in a couple of days. 2:20

RCMP weren't notified for roughly three days about the disappearance of Teresa Cassandra Robinson, 11, who was found mauled and killed by an animal on Manitoba's Garden Hill First Nation this week, says Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief David Harper.

Robinson, who had been missing for almost a week before her body was found, was killed by an unknown animal, said Chief Arnold Flett of Garden Hill, which is about 500 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. People in the community suspect it was a bear.

Harper said the RCMP expect to know within about 48 hours what type of animal mauled the girl. Forensics officers are at the scene, he added.

Harper and some of Robinson's relatives, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, boarded a flight from Winnipeg to Garden Hill on Tuesday morning.

The family members said she was a "brave girl" who would have turned 12 on Thursday. They added that Robinson, the youngest of five children, was very close to her father.

"This is like so hard. She was a brave girl," said Chantelle Little, Robinson's cousin. "We are actually going to Garden Hill to find out more about what happened."

Harper said Robinson was last seen leaving a birthday party in the community at around 9 p.m. on May 5. A search was launched May 7, but RCMP weren't contacted until May 8, he said.

Searchers from the community found her body on Monday, he said.

"Everybody's taking it really hard," said Harper. "The horrific scene that they [saw] is something that will stay with them. We'll do what we can to help however ease the ongoing investigation and also the community itself."

RCMP would only confirm they are investigating the death of a girl on the reserve.