Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Man Accused of Killing Indigenous Teenager Told Police It Wasn't Him

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Man Accused of Killing Indigenous Teenager Told Police It Wasn't Him

Article excerpt

"Don't focus on me", accused killer told cops

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WINNIPEG - The man accused of killing an Indigenous teenager and dumping her body in the Red River told police he didn't do it, and urged them to search for a suspect who looked like the lead singer of rock group Led Zeppelin.

"Don't focus on me," Raymond Cormier told police during a 90-minute videotaped interview from Oct. 1, 2014, part of which was played in court Wednesday.

"What happened to Tina was wrong."

Cormier has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Tina Fontaine, a petite 15-year-old girl whose body was found in the Red River, wrapped in a duvet cover and weighed down by rocks, on Aug 17, 2014.

She had spent most of her life on the Sagkeeng First Nation and travelled to Winnipeg in late June of 2014 to reconnect with her birth mother. Court was told she became a sexually exploited youth.

Cormier, 55, said he met Tina several times that summer and sometimes provided her and her boyfriend a place to stay overnight.

In the video interview, Cormier told police he last saw Tina sometime in August after her boyfriend had left the city to return to a northern First Nations community.

Tina had come to a home where Cormier was staying with friends, he said, and got upset when Cormier took a bicycle she had and sold it for marijuana. The two argued outside, he said, and he followed Tina as she walked away down the street.

"She's just yelling and screaming and I'm yelling and screaming and ... I got pissed off and threw her weed at her feet and -- gone, see you later," Cormier sajd in the video.

"And then I went back to (the house)."

Cormier told the two officers interviewing him that there was a man walking in the same direction as Tina on the other side of the street, a little bit behind her.

Cormier told police they should seek the man out as a person of interest, and then gave a description -- a white skin, middle-aged man with shoulder-length dirty blonde hair who looked like a famous singer.

"Robert Plant," Cormier said. …

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