A charge of first-degree murder has been laid against a Winnipeg man in the death of a 20-year-old Indigenous woman.
RCMP say Josh Benoit knew the victim, Mackaylah Gerard-Roussin, whose body was discovered in Steinbach, Manitoba on Aug. 27.
Benoit, 20, fled in his vehicle before officers arrived at a home in the community located 68 km east of Winnipeg, police said.
They first believed the victim was with Benoit. She was last seen on Aug. 25.
Police say they pulled over Benoit’s vehicle and arrested him before his vehicle caught on fire. They believe he started the fire.
Flames were extinguished
But after the flames were extinguished, Gerard-Roussin was not in the vehicle. Her body was discovered later on a remote ATV trail.
Benoit is in custody, police said.
Gerard-Roussin attended Rossbrook House in Winnipeg and later became an employee.
Members of Rossbrook House remembered her with a series of online posts.
“We will always remember her as outgoing, smiling and singing at our Christmas parties,” one post said.
Gerard-Roussin’s family asked for privacy, saying they were holding a sacred fire for her.