Family members say a woman found shot in the back of the head in central Winnipeg this week is the cousin of Tina Fontaine, the teenage girl whose death fuelled calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women.
Rhonda Flett, the aunt of Jeanenne Fontaine, said her 29-year-old niece was discovered Tuesday after a fire at the younger woman's home.
Flett said Fontaine was taken off life-support Wednesday morning. She died the same day.
Police confirm she was shot before the fire was deliberately set but autopsy results are pending.
Const. Jason Michalyshen, a police spokesman, said investigators are doing their best to find a suspect.
"We are on top of this. We are working hard to determine exactly what took place and why this occurred. We want to provide support to the family and friends of Ms. Fontaine. I can't imagine what they're going through," he said.
Flett said her family is having difficulty coping with the shooting.
She is urging whoever shot her niece to give themselves up.
"It's us burying babies. No family has to live like this," said Flett. "A cold-hearted murderer ... someone who has no regard for life would do something like that."
The body of Fontaine's 15-year-old cousin, Tina Fontaine, was discovered wrapped in a bag in the Red River in August 2014, eight days after she was reported missing.
Raymond Cormier, a 54-year-old suspect in her death, is charged with second-degree murder.