Saskatoon

Sister says she's not surprised Hailey Belanger-Weeseekase's accused killer is a teen from the same gang

Tamara Weeseekase says her sister struggled with the gang life and that she's not surprised Hailey Belanger-Weeseekase's alleged killer is a teen from the same gang.

Tamara Weeseekase says she tried to coax her sister out of gang life in Saskatoon

Hailey Belanger-Weeseekase was found dead in a car on July 11. (Hailey Belanger/Facebook)

Tamara Weeseekase is not surprised the teen charged with second-degree murder in her sister's death is also from her sister's gang.

The 15-year-old girl accused of killing 19-year-old Hailey Belanger-Weeseekase on July 11 appeared by video in court Monday and Tuesday. The accused cannot be named because of her age.

The teen is also charged with carrying a concealed machete. She was arrested five days after police found Belanger-Weeseekase's body in a car in the Confederation neighbourhood.

Tamara Weeseekase said gang relationships are volatile.

"A lot of them turn on each other," she said Tuesday.

"It's surprising but not surprising, that it'd be someone that she knew."

Tamara is three years older and said that she watched her sister struggle with the gang life. She needed only go on social media to see it play out.

Hailey had at least four separate Facebook pages, under the names Hailey Belanger, DeeDee King, Hailey Iwa and Harley Weeseekase.

The gang life exerted a powerful draw on Hailey Belanger-Weeseekase, her sister says. (Deedee King/Facebook)

Each has its collection of photos with young men and women posturing and making gang signs. Tamara said Hailey was in a gang called The Last Kings. Many of the pictures feature machetes, bear spray, drugs and handguns.

Hailey's face is covered in some of the photos, but Tamara says her distinctive tattoos — a large flower on the top of her hand and a skull on her collarbone — make her easy to identify.

Tamara said she tried to coax her sister out of the lifestyle.

"I would describe her as kind of stuck, she couldn't get anywhere that she wanted to get," she said.

"She was held back by wanting to be in the gang, and being in the gang. She had friends outside the gang, but wasn't really close to them anymore."

Tamara said her sister rarely raised the issue of leaving.

"The only time we would really talk about any of that, it would be me telling her that you need to get out, you need to do something else with your life. Go somewhere else and just lay low for a while," she said.

The banner photo on the Deedee King Facebook page. (Deedee King/Facebook)

One photos on the 15-year-old accused's page shows her posing with Hailey on the same day that the 19-year-old died.

At roughly 3:30 p.m. CST on July 11, officers responding to reports of a dead woman outside of an apartment block found Belanger-Weeseekase dead. 

Angel Keepness, who has been living in the area for about two years, told CBC she saw the woman in the back seat of a red vehicle with several others driving by her apartment at a high rate of speed, noting it appeared the back window of the vehicle was "smashed out."

Twenty minutes later, Keepness said the sound of police sirens brought her to the back of the building. That's when she witnessed an officer trying to save the woman's life. She said the officer on scene appeared to do everything they could to save the woman's life. 

"Oh goodness, it was probably like 30 minutes until the ambulance got there," she said, noting the scene brought her to tears. "He was just going and going and going and then when the ambulance finally arrived, they said that she had no pulse and that's when I couldn't watch anymore."

Police have not said how Hailey died.

The 15-year-old returns to court on Aug. 4.

About the Author

Dan Zakreski is a reporter for CBC Saskatoon.

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