Man charged with murder after woman found dead in van, near Beardy's and Okemasis' reserve
Band leadership earlier reported that a woman had died
Click here for the latest: 'My heart aches for her children': Aunt remembers homicide victim Jessica Cameron
A man is facing a second-degree murder charge after police found a damaged minivan near Beardy's and Okemasis Cree Nation, with a woman dead inside.
Police said at about 6 a.m. CST on Saturday morning, they responded to the report of a damaged vehicle. The van had some minor front end damage, after getting lodged in the trees in a wooded area near the reserve.
The 25-year-old man in the driver's seat had minor injuries, while a 33-year-old woman in the passenger seat was declared dead at the scene.
Police say there were "inconsistencies" between the injuries of each of the occupants and the damage to the van.
Rosthern RCMP, RCMP Major Crime Unit South, Saskatoon RCMP Forensic Identification Section and Prince Albert RCMP Traffic Reconstruction continued the investigation, and on Sunday, Jamie Smallchild was charged with second degree murder.
The band earlier named the woman who died as Jessica Cameron, which RCMP confirmed.
Smallchild and Cameron were known to be in a relationship.
The band's leadership issued a statement on its Facebook page and its official website.
"I first off want to again extend my personal condolences and the sincere condolences of our Council to the family and friends of Jessica Cameron," said a statement from councillor Kevin Seesequasis. "I will always remember her as someone who always shared a smile. She will be missed."
An earlier statement from band leadership said the death has been a "devastating day for our community," noting people will come together to "support our grieving relatives."
Band leadership also encouraged people to come forward with information, as RCMP have indicated they've had "some difficulty with witnesses and their participation."
"We recognize this is a tragic situation for the community – everyone I've spoken to had nothing but kind words to say about Miss. Cameron," said Sgt. Dan Donison, quoted in the release.
"I understand that trust is important in a situation like this, and that some people are worrisome of the RCMP. But this was a mom, a sister, someone's daughter, and it is critical that we have as much information as possible to help us conclude our investigation."
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Rosthern RCMP.
The reserve is located about 90 kilometres north of Saskatoon.