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UPDATE: Man, 29, charged with murdering his wife, 3 kids and teen girl

(UPDATE: Feb. 12 @ 12:37 pm): A 29-year-old man has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder in connection with the death a woman, three young children and a teenage girl.

Police have accused Ryan Howard Manoakeesick, from Carman, MB, of killing his wife, 30, daughters (aged six years and two months), four-year-old son and his wife's 17-year-old niece.

The RCMP said autopsies on the victims are scheduled for today.

They added: "Initial reports said witness helped pull children from burning vehicle, however, that is no longer accurate. Further info has revealed the suspect removed the children from the vehicle."


(Original story: Feb. 12 @ 5:40 am): Manitoba RCMP continue to investigate the deaths of five people, including three children, who they say died in separate but connected events.

The investigation began Sunday when police were called to an area just outside of the town of Carman, southwest of Winnipeg, and found a woman lying dead in a ditch.

About 2.5 hours later and 70 kilometres to the north, officers were called to a report of a burning vehicle and learned a witness pulled three children from it.

The kids were pronounced dead and police took a 29-year-old man into custody at the scene, though they did not specify his relationship to those who died or say what charges he may face.

Further investigation led officers to a home in Carman, where they found the body of another woman inside.

<who> Photo credit: Canadian Press </who> Inspector Tim Arseneault.

Carman Mayor Brent Owen says the tight-knit community of about 3,000 is devastated to learn about the tragedies.

RCMP Insp. Tim Arseneault provided few details at a hastily called news conference on Sunday but said police believe all five of the dead and a suspect were known to each other.

“I want to express my condolences to the families and friends who have lost a loved one today," Arseneault said. "As a parent, I simply cannot imagine the enormity of your loss. Please know that the RCMP and everyone in Manitoba stands with you.

"The community of Carman and surrounding areas will also be grieving as they have lost some of their youngest residents in such a tragic way.”

Arseneault said the five dead were found at three separate scenes.

Police located the first at 7:30 a.m., when they were called to a reported hit-and-run on Highway 3, about six kilometres south of Carman. The body of a woman was found in a ditch near the side of the road, Arseneault said.

The next call came in to RCMP at around 10 a.m. about a vehicle on fire some 70 kilometres to the north in the Rural Municipality of Cartier.

“As officers were going to the scene, a witness was able to pull three young children from a burning vehicle," Arseneault said. "Tragically all three children were declared deceased at the scene.”

Arseneault said the suspect was arrested at the site of the blaze.

He said further investigation then led officers to a home in Carman, where they found the body of another woman inside a home.

Arseneault said it's too early to determine what transpired between the dead and the suspect.

"We have teams and teams of investigators who are out there right now working on this and trying to get an understanding of what happened (and) why it happened."

He did not provide the ages of any of the dead or describe the relationship between them and the suspect.

Carman Mayor Brent Owen said he was devastated to learn of the deaths, adding he did not personally know those who died despite being familiar with about 80 per cent of the town's residents.

He said he learned of the first death after receiving a text from a community member, but didn't fully grasp the scope of what happened until hearing details from police.

"It's horrific. You get five people from our community and three children. Unimaginable," he said, adding his own condolences to friends and relatives.

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew also tweeted condolences to those affected by the tragedy.

"Sending comfort and strength to the families and community of Carman during this challenging time of loss," Kinew's tweet said.

An RCMP spokesperson said police plan to release more information later in the week.

– With files from Canadian Press


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