Community search leads to missing woman being found safe, family says

By | September 17, 2020

The family of Katelyn Fontaine, who had not been seen or heard from since Sept. 3, wants to thank the community who came together and provided tips that led to her being found safe. 

About a hundred people, including her family, friends and community members set out on foot Thursday evening to search for her. Late Thursday night, her mother and sister confirmed she’d been found.

“Knowing that she’s safe and knowing that she is here and present, it’s amazing. And very thankful because it just shows the power of community coming together,” said Carla Cochrane, Fontaine’s cousin.

A large community effort and many tips led to a Winnipeg woman being found safe. (Submitted by Joseph Munro)

People had gathered at the Neeginan Centre on Higgins Avenue and distributed posters of Fontaine. Several different groups, including Anish Corporation, Thunderbirdz, First Nation Indigenous Warriors, Evelyn Memorial Search Team and the Bear Clan were involved in the search, along with dozens of others. 

They split into two search parties and set out downtown, putting up flyers and talking to people along Portage Avenue, Main Street, Selkirk Avenue and other areas she was known to frequent.

Eventually, a tip from a community member led one search party to the building she was found in. 

“We ended up finding her, which is amazing, because it just shows the power of community coming together,” Cochrane said.

“It’s amazing how much power there is in going out and asking people directly. And that’s how we ended up getting to where we were.”

Dylan Fontaine, 20, travelled from Brandon to help search for his cousin. He’s asking anyone who sees her to call Winnipeg police. (Erin Brohman/CBC)

Fontaine is Anishinabe, originally from Sagkeeng First Nation. She moved to Winnipeg to finish her schooling and graduated from Technical Vocational High School. 

Family and friends hadn’t heard from her since Sept. 3, when she responded to her mother’s Facebook message. 

“She’s relieved. Big time relieved. I mean happy tears and just all that stress all that worry is gone,” Cochrane said. 

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