Nfld. & Labrador

Chantel John identified by Miawpukek First Nation as woman killed in Conne River

She was "was tragically taken from us by a horrible act of violence," according to the band.

The band says John was 'tragically taken from us by a horrible act of violence'

Miawpukek council has named Chantel John as the woman killed in Conne River. (Facebook)

The Miawpukek First Nation in Conne River has identified the young woman killed in the southern Newfoundland community Wednesday evening as Chantel John.

In a Facebook post Thursday afternoon, the band extended its condolences to her family.

John "was tragically taken from us by a horrible act of violence," reads the post.

"As a community we are grieving. Such violence does not happen in small, rural communities. We are family, we are friends who are trying to deal with the murder of a young Indigenous woman," reads the post. 

Chief Mi'sel Joe thanked those sending their condolences Thursday and said the tragedy touches everyone in Conne River.

Conne River mourning young woman's death

4 years ago
Duration 0:40
RCMP remain on scene in the small community, investigating what police call a suspicious death.

"It affects the whole community, it's a family," he said. 

Joe also said RCMP have arrested a person from outside the community in connection with the death, however, police have not confirmed to CBC News that anyone has been arrested or charged.

Investigators still on scene

RCMP remain on the scene through Thursday, after being called to the community around 9:30 p.m. over a report of a suspicious death. 

"Our major crimes section has taken over the investigation," said Cpl. Jolene Garland, a spokesperson for the RCMP said Wednesday morning, adding police were unable to provide many details.

Police are on the scene in Conne River. (Submitted)

"Especially where there's a potential that this could result is possible criminality, we don't want to comment too early on anything that could jeopardize a possible criminal investigation."

Garland is based in St. John's and said it's been difficult to reach officers on the ground in Conne River because they've been so tied up with the ongoing investigation.

"I can only surmise like anywhere in a smaller community that something like this would be very upsetting. Any time there is a death that is deemed to be suspicious in nature would be upsetting to anybody in the community."

Garland said the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is also involved in the investigation.

Red dress on tree

The Miawpukek First Nation said support services would be made available to people in the community.

A red dress was also draped over the branches of a tree in Conne River Thursday.

A red dress was hung from the branches of a tree in Conne River Thursday, a powerful symbol for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. (Garrett Barry/CBC)

The dress has become a symbol of missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada, and are hung to raise awareness.

The Miawpukek First Nation has also asked people in the community to wear red to honour John's memory, and the memory of all missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

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