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An autopsy confirmed it was Ribbonleg.

Chief Conroy Sewepagaham said in a video posted on his Facebook a few days later that he had encouraged investigators to leave no stone unturned. Garden River and John D’or Prairie went into lockdown for many days to ensure a thorough investigation.

The chief also discouraged animosity between people in the remote communities.

“The last thing we want is vigilante justice,” he said. “I understand a lot of people are saddened by the loss of our tiny home fire.”

D’Or says she doesn’t personally know the man accused in death, but she has seen him around. Most people know his history, she says.

In 2014, Tallcree was charged with second-degree murder and interfering with a dead body in the death of his common-law partner Marlena Loonskin.

Court records show the charges were stayed in 2015, two weeks before Tallcree was to have a hearing aimed at determining whether there was enough evidence to hold a trial.

D’Or said she was involved in the search for Loonskin six years ago. The young mother’s body was found in a wooded area near her home.

Both tragedies are almost too much to comprehend, D’Or said. She really worries for the young people who will be going back to school knowing their classmate was killed. D’Or said many don’t know how to talk about it so they just bottle it up inside.

A video being shared on social media to honour Ribbonleg shows her with friends at school, eating pizza, fishing and driving around. Messages from friends say she will be missed.

D’Or said walking through the school’s hallways is not going to be the same without her little cousin’s daily classroom visit.

“She was a great spirit,” she said.

“She didn’t deserve to go this way. She wasn’t ready … It wasn’t her time.”