April 15th, 2024

Funeral in southern Manitoba for slain mother, children, niece

By The Canadian Press on February 21, 2024.

Forensic investigators on the scene of an ongoing investigation regarding five deaths in southern Manitoba, in Carman, Man., Monday, Feb. 12, 2024. People in Carman, Manitoba are scheduled to gather today for the funeral of five people killed in what RCMP have called an unimaginable tragedy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski

CARMAN, Man. – A funeral is scheduled this morning in southern Manitoba for five family members killed in what police have called an unimaginable tragedy.

Amanda Clearwater, her young children – Bethany, Jayven and Isabella Manoakeesick – and her teen niece Myah-Lee Gratton are being remembered in the town of Carman, Man.

People attending the service in the town of 3,000 people southwest of Winnipeg, have been asked to wear purple.

Police discovered the bodies on Feb. 11 at multiple crime scenes in and around Carman.

Clearwater’s common-law partner, Ryan Howard Manoakeesick, has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

An online obituary pays tribute to Clearwater as a woman who loved her children and enjoyed taking them on walks.

“She was 100 per cent family-oriented and saw the good in everyone. When she pulled you into her circle it did not matter if you weren’t family, you became family,” the obituary says.

Six-year-old Bethany “had a passion for mermaids, and pink was her favourite colour,” the obituary says.

Four-year-old Jayven “was the ultimate boy, playing with Spider-Man, playing with dinosaurs.”

Isabella, two months old, “came into this world content as could be.”

“She must have known that she was the final piece to Amanda’s puzzle. So, she chose to take it easy on Mom by being the gentle little princess of the family.”

Gratton’s mother, Juliette Hastings, has said the 17-year-old had been staying with Clearwater and Manoakeesick since last spring. She said Gratton was excited about getting tattoos for her upcoming birthday to commemorate her faith, siblings and family.

Court records show the accused had been warned by a judge in 2019 to get his methamphetamine addiction under control or risk losing everything.

Manoakeesick was convicted of mischief and sentenced to 18 months’ probation. Court heard he locked himself inside a detached garage in Winnipeg and struck the overhead door, causing significant damage.

The next day, court was told he went to a Tim Hortons restaurant and threw around glass coffee mugs. The prosecutor in the case said Manoakeesick was on meth at the time.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 20, 2024.

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