The mother of a five-year-old girl believed to have been killed last summer was denied bail in a Winnipeg court Wednesday.

A Court of Queen's Bench judge ruled that Samantha Kematch, 24,must remain in custody while she awaits trial in connection with the death of Phoenix Victoria Sinclair.

Phoenix was allegedly abused and killed in June 2005 on the Fisher River Cree Nation, but not reported missing until the RCMP received a tip in March.

Kematch and her boyfriend, Carl Wesley McKay, 43, were charged with first-degree murder, failing to provide the necessities of life, forcible confinement and assault with a weapon.

The RCMP later found evidence of the girl's remains in agarbage dump on the reserve 150 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

The girl had been in and out of foster care for much of her brief life. Her unnoticed absence prompted a review of Manitoba's four child welfare authorities to make sure all children were accounted for.

The details of the bail hearing were subject to a publication ban.