The family of a 13-year-old whose body was found in a burned-out car in Prince Albert, Sask., says the boy was killed over a bottle of rum he tried to take from people associated with a gang.
Wayne Ballantyne's body was discovered May 21. Police are investigating the case as a homicide.
Family members told CBC News the boy left his home in the very early hours of May 20, and that was the last time they saw him alive.
"Wayne said he was taking off with his friends to go walk around," Ivan Sewap told CBC News. "He took off and never came back."
"Then on Sunday morning people told us they found a body inside a car [and] people saying that it was Wayne," he added.
Sewap said he believes Ballantyne was beaten to death by members of a gang.
"I heard that he got ganged up ... for trying to steal a Captain Morgan, I think, from the house," Sewap said. Sewap said the house where the car was parked has a reputation in the area as a gang hangout. "I heard that they beat him up. Beat him up to death for that bottle, and then they took him to the car and they set him on fire in there."
Sewap, 19, said his information came from talking to a number of people in the neighbourhood.
Although Sewap is older than Ballantyne, he is the dead boy's nephew.
He said the younger boy had a troubled life and was drinking and doing drugs at the age of eight.
"I remember that he was crazy," Sewap said of his young uncle. "Like if anybody smart-talked him, he smart-talked them back right away."
Ballantyne's body was found in a car on at residence on the 900 block of River Street West in Prince Albert. His own home was about one block away.
Police have not announced any arrests in the case.