Teen girl beaten in downtown Winnipeg taken off life-support
Vicious assault on April 1 left 15-year-old in critical condition
The 15-year-old girl viciously beaten in downtown Winnipeg earlier this month has been taken off life-support, a family member says.
The girl has been in critical condition in hospital since the attack on April 1, when she was found near a parkade on Hargrave Street.
The decision to take the teen off life-support was made by family and chiefs.
David Harper, the grand chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Organization, said this latest development should prompt change in Manitoba's Child and Family Services (CFS) system.
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Harper recently visited the girl's family, and said CFS needs to find a way to reunite families and their children more quickly.
"We can't see any more children going through the same system — the same sort of cracks," he said. "Mothers and grandmothers have been calling us from different parts of the province saying the same thing."
A 15-year-old boy was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated sexual assault the same day the girl was found. Those charges will likely be upgraded if she dies.
According to police, the boy and girl were both in care of the province's Child and Family Services system and were being housed at the same hotel not far from where the girl was found after the attack.
They had been walking around together downtown when some kind of argument erupted between them, police said at the time of the boy's arrest.
The boy had flagged down officers for help, claiming to have come across the injured girl. But after questioning him, police became suspicious of his story and pressed him further, which led to the arrest.
"I can promise you we're monitoring this investigation and the status of the victim very, very closely," Const. Jason Michalyshen said on Thursday.
"This was a horrific event."
Harper said tragedies like this happen too often to indigenous girls.
"We're in crisis mode. I mean this is something that we have to really fix up," he said. "It's gone too far. I mean, Winnipeg is now probably the orphanage capital of North America."
Rachel Morgan, a spokeswoman for the Manitoba government, offered condolences to the girl's family on behalf of the province.
"Our hearts and thoughts are with the young girl and her family at this very difficult time," she said.