February 26th, 2024

‘Unimaginable’: Manitoba man charged with murder in deaths of wife, children, teen

By Brittany Hobson, The Canadian Press on February 12, 2024.

Inspector Tim Arseneault, operations officer, RCMP major crime services speaks to the media about an ongoing investigation in Winnipeg on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024. RCMP say they are investigating the suspicious deaths of three children and two women in southern Manitoba. THE CANADIAN PRESS / David Lipnowski

CARMAN, Man. – RCMP in Manitoba say a 29-year-old man has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his wife, three young children and a 17-year-old relative.

Family and friends are dealing with an “unimaginable tragedy,” RCMP Insp. Tim Arseneault told a news conference in Winnipeg on Monday.

“Our thoughts are also with the community of Carman, who are mourning the loss of an entire family, which we now know includes a youth and three young children.”

Arseneault says the dead are the suspect’s 30-year-old wife, the couple’s six-year-old daughter, four-year-old son and two-month-old daughter, as well as the wife’s 17-year-old niece. All of them lived together in Carman.

Police did not release the names of the victims.

The five died Sunday at multiple crime scenes in and around the town, 85 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.

That morning, police responded to a report of a hit-and-run and found the woman lying dead in a ditch.

More than two hours later and 70 kilometres to the north, officers were called to a report of a burning vehicle and found the children outside the car.

The children were pronounced dead at the scene and police took Ryan Howard Manoakeesick of Carman into custody.

Police then circled back to Carman and discovered the body of the teen in the family home.

Police said autopsies were being conducted and declined to provide further details as the investigation continues.

In Carman, police tape blocked off the front and back yards of the family’s small white bungalow, while forensic crews could be seen going in and out. Police vehicles were parked outside.

Children’s toys and a bike were strewn across the back lawn.

“This is a dark time in Manitoba,” Premier Wab Kinew told the news conference.

He said he knows what it’s like to hold an infant in his arms, to grasp the hand of a young child, to be there with a teen thinking about grad ceremony clothes and to share a laugh with his wife at the end of the day.

“I think people from all walks of life, in every part of the province, understand these bonds, because these bonds are sacred,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Feb. 12, 2024.

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