Police seek help solving double homicide in Dene First Nation

2021 fatal fire killed two in northern Manitoba

Leona Tssessaze and Brent Denechezhe were shot to death before their bodies were recovered from a house fire in Denesuline Northlands First Nation in 2021. Photos: Manitoba RCMP

Manitoba RCMP are appealing for tips about a house fire in Northlands Densuline First Nation that killed two people 2 ½ years ago.

“We’re bringing attention to this tragic event and renewing calls for information,” said lead investigator Const. David Giroux in a release. “We believe there are people out there who have valuable information about these murders.

“We are encouraging the public to call the tip line set up to receive information in relation to the murder of Brent and Leona.”

Investigators discovered the remains of Brent Denechezhe, 31, and Leona Tssessaze, 24, after a house fire in the community, 1,000 km north of Winnipeg, on Sept. 9, 2021.

Giroux says no detail is insignificant.

“If you have anything to share, please call our tip line. Your contribution could be the key to finding answers for the families and community.”

The families did not respond to a request for comment from APTN News.

But in an earlier release, the mothers of both victims spoke to police.

Veronique Denechezhe told RCMP she was working outside the community when her son died and cannot see herself living there again.

“Whoever did this to Brent and Leona, whoever killed my son, is still there, still lives there,” she said. “I can’t be there and unknowingly wish the person who killed my baby a nice day.”

Ellen Tssessaze said not knowing what happened makes it hard to grieve her daughter’s death.

“I don’t know why this had to happen,” she said. “I just keep wondering why. Whoever did this needs to come forward. Please come forward. If anyone knows anything, please help us. Please help our families. Speak up for Leona and Brent.”

Brent was the father of two daughters, and Leona had two younger siblings and a nephew, RCMP said.

Police have a dedicated tip line at 431-489-8112. Information can also be shared anonymously via CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or manitobacrimestoppers.com, they said.

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