Family of two Poplar Hill girls who died while in care speak out about their deaths

APTN visited the families in their homes on Poplar Hill.

Brittany Hobson
APTN National News
Amy Owen, 13, was removed from her home and placed in care in September 2016.

Kanina Sue Turtle, 15, spent the better part of seven years in care.

Both girls were from the community of Poplar Hill along the Ontario-Manitoba border.

And, both girls died of suspected suicide while in care.

Kanina died on Oct. 29, 2016 in Sioux Lookout. Amy died Apr. 17, 2017 in Ottawa.

APTN visited the families in their homes on Poplar Hill. Both families say their daughters were happy, positive young girls when they were at home with their families. Things changed when Amy and Kanina were placed in care.

“She started hurting herself, acting out, cutting her arms and stuff like that when she was in care. Like, she would never do this at home,” said Amy’s father Jeffrey Owen.

Barbara Suggashie last saw her daughter one week before she is believed to have taken her own life. Kanina was being held in an emergency room in Sioux Lookout.

“I asked her what happened. She said I want to go home. She was cutting herself and that’s when I told her to stop doing that.”

Suggashie doesn’t believe her daughter took her own life.

“I just want to know the truth- what really happened to my daughter.”

Both families have called for an inquiry into Amy and Kanina’s deaths.

Amy’s father says she would call him expressing her unhappiness with being away from home.

“She would always say, ‘I love you dad,’ when she got off the phone, and I told her, ‘I love you too my girl.”

She had even gone so far as to attempt suicide before her final attempt in April. Owen says she was supposed to be under 24/7 supervision at the time of her death.

“I just felt so helpless. I wanted to do so many things to help her out.”

Because of this supervision he never thought he would have to bury his daughter. Unfortunately, he was wrong.

APTN is still waiting for a comment from the agency in charge of Amy and Kanina.

A longer version of the Owen and Suggashie interviews will be aired at a later date.

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2 thoughts on “Family of two Poplar Hill girls who died while in care speak out about their deaths

  1. My condolences that is an extremely long time to be in care there shoud be provisions for optional visits back to their home communities and a plan to eventually be reurned home?
    A goal to return should have been the plan for all children and youth in care…Family is vital …prayers to you and your community.

  2. This is a horrific tragedy, one that any family should never experience. My question is why we’re these girls in care to begin with? I am in no way blaming their parents, but if everything was wonderful at home, why did CFS remove them to begin with. If people want to ask questions then we should always begin with ourselves first.

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