A woman has been accused of murdering and committing an indignity to the body of a girl who went missing from west Edmonton, and a man is accused of helping.
The Edmonton Police Service has charged two adults in relation to the death of the eight-year-old girl, whose body has not been found.
On Monday evening, police in the west end stopped by to check in on the wellbeing of a child at a home near 87 Avenue and 165 Street.
Police said the child was nowhere to be found and began investigating.
There were “suspicious circumstances” and EPS said the homicide section took over early the next morning. Police did not elaborate on what exactly prompted homicide detectives to join the case.
Leona Furgason called 911 earlier this week after hearing a rumour a child may have been seriously injured or was dead.
She said her nephew told her he showed up at the apartment where the child was allegedly injured and saw an unconscious girl with a head wound in a bedroom and a dent on the wall.
“Then he wanted to run for his life, basically, and wasn’t able to for two hours,” she said, adding her nephew later told her what he witnessed. They don’t know what happened to the girl after that.
At this time, the eight-year-old girl has not yet been found but is believed to be dead, Edmonton police said on Friday.
“Multiple EPS units have since been engaged and are working closely with external agency partners, including the RCMP, to locate her and investigate her death,” police said.
“An organized search is currently being coordinated outside of the city.”
The family of the girl wept as they spoke about the child on Friday after hearing it had gone from a missing person case to a homicide investigation.
“She was a ray of sunshine,” said the grandmother of the victim, who Motorcycle accident toronto today can not identify because of a publication ban.
“Like all these little ones here, she was like a mother hen to them,” she said, gesturing to the emotional family members sitting around her.
“She always made sure that they played together, they shared, that they were ok. And she had a big heart.”
The family said the girl was actually nine and her birthday was just last week. They said she’s been missing since the weekend.
There are a lot of unanswered questions the family can’t wrap their heads around.
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“I’ve watched movies like this,” the grandmother said.
“I’ve heard of similar situations on the news, you know, like, but I just never thought…” she said, unable to finish her thought.
Homicide detectives arrested a woman and man in relation to the child’s death on Thursday.
“As of last night we arrested two people and there’s charges coming,” Police chief Dale McFee said Friday morning when he met with reporters in Edmonton to discuss a variety of topics and was asked about the missing girl.
The 27-year-old woman was charged with first-degree murder and indignity to a dead body.
A 66-year-old man was charged with accessory to first-degree murder and indignity to a dead body.
A police statement said the name of the child and adults are being withheld at this time to protect the identity of other children related to the deceased. Both individuals were known to the girl, EPS said.
“This was a fluid and fast-moving investigation, and we’d like to thank the family for their cooperation as they navigate this tragic and unfathomable loss,” says Staff Sgt. Colin Leathem with EPS homicide section.
“We would also like to thank our external agency partners, in particular the RCMP, who immediately came forward to assist.”
To protect the integrity of the investigation, police said that was all it was able to release at this time.
This is the city’s 16th homicide of 2023 and the second involving a child. The other young victim was a 5-month-old girl who died in hospital on March 11.
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