Family, friends lead downtown Winnipeg search for Katelyn Fontaine

By | September 17, 2020

Family, friends and about a hundred community members set out on foot Thursday night to search for Katelyn Fontaine.

The 26-year-old hasn’t been seen or heard from since Sept. 3, when she responded to a Facebook message from her mother.

Her family is asking Winnipeggers to be on the lookout.

“The more eyes the better,” said her cousin, Carla Cochrane. “Katelyn loves tattoos, so she does have a prominent tattoo on her neck that you can see.”

That tattoo is of a large black cross. She also has the words “To Hell and Back” inscribed across her upper chest.

Fontaine’s mother, who was at the search on Thursday night but was too distraught to speak, has been extremely worried for the past two weeks, said Cochrane.

“Anybody that’s missing a child, it’s your heart, it’s your soul, just not being able to connect and reach [them],” said Cochrane.

“It’s not like Katelyn [not] to reach out. The most that she’s ever went — because she is an adult and lives on her own — is three days.”

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)

People gathered at the Neeginan Centre on Higgins Avenue and distributed posters of Fontaine. Several different groups,  including Anish Corporation, Thunderbirdz and the Bear Clan were involved in the search, along with dozens of friends, family and concerned members of the community.

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. 

“Katelyn is loved by a lot of people —  her family, she has tons of friends.… Just not hearing from her is really a big concern for all of us,” said Cochrane. 

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

She is described as five foot three and about 120 pounds. She has brown eyes, long, straight black hair, and a ring piercing at the bottom of her nose.

“She’s a very petite, very pleasant-mannered girl,” said Cochrane. “Just a soft voice.”

Fontaine, 26, responded to a Facebook message from her mother early on Sept. 3, but no one has heard from her since. (Submitted by Rhonda Abraham)

Katelyn’s cousin, Dylan Fontaine, travelled from Brandon to help search for her Thursday night.

“[It’s] very close to home,” he said. “We had a lot of family gatherings together when we were younger. Of course finding out something like this is kind of a worry.”

He said he’s focusing on the memory of gathering at their grandparents’ home on Sagkeeng First Nation.

His cousin has a special personality, he said.

“A little bit shy.… [But] she’s very passionate and [a] very energetic person. Very nice. Obviously cares for anybody she talks to.

“It’s unlike her, to see her gone like this.”

The family is asking Winnipeggers to call Winnipeg police — even anonymously — at 204-986-6250 with any tips or sightings.

“Just knowing that people have sightings, that gives us some hope too,” said Cochrane.

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