Grieving Inukjuak father skeptical no one in village of 1,800 has information on daughter's homicide
No arrest 2 months after 14-year-old Bethany Nastapoka Epoo found dead
The father of a 14-year-old girl found dead two months ago less than 250 metres from her home in the northern Quebec village of Inukjuak is asking anyone with information about her death to come forward.
"I find it hard to believe that in such a small village that someone does not know who is responsible for the death of my daughter," Jobie Epoo said in a telephone interview with CBC.
Epoo, a former captain with the Kativik Regional Police Force, said if people are being threatened to stay quiet, they should not be afraid.
"You have to tell the police if you know any information, and they can quickly arrange protection until an arrest is made."
Sûreté du Québec investigators described the death as a homicide from the beginning and have visited the community three times since July 22, when Nastapoka Epoo's body was discovered between her home and the local adult education centre.
Existence of surveillance video confirmed
The SQ remains tight-lipped about the investigation, but confirmed the existence of a video that has been shown to people in the community.
He said someone else seen earlier on the video appears to be rushing in the same direction one minute after Bethany falls out of view.
Epoo said her body was found about a three-minute walk outside the range of the surveillance camera.
"It's the worst thing that can happen," said Epoo. "It's one thing to lose a daughter, but death in that way is even worse. It is really, really bad and hard to accept."
Epoo said since there have not been any arrests, people are looking over their shoulders, locking their doors and no longer staying out late.
He is also asking young people to avoid going out alone, and to keep their headphones in their pockets so they're aware of their surroundings.
'She meant everything to us'
"She meant everything to us," he said. "We were very close for years and years." Epoo said. He also said she was growing up quickly, and sometimes stayed out late or overnight at a friend's home.
Epoo remembered his wife saying their daughter "would be home soon" after Bethany failed to turn up to a nephew's birthday party on July 22.
Epoo began to worry around supper time, after some of her friends started to call looking for her. Then he saw the flashing lights of police cruisers from the window of his home.
"I went to see the police officers guarding the scene, and from there, it started to be quite possible that it could be my daughter."
Epoo and his family had to wait until the following day for Sureté du Québec officers to arrive to confirm his daughter was the victim of a homicide.
"It was the most horrible thing that can happen to any family, and it happened to us this time around," he said.