REGINA -- RCMP say a six-year-old boy found dead on a Saskatchewan reserve had head trauma and they believe a child under 12 is responsible.
Lee Bonneau was found injured in a wooded area last month not far from the Kahkewistahaw First Nation community centre where he was last seen.
Staff Sgt. Larry Brost told a news conference Tuesday the person investigators feel is responsible for the killing is another boy under the age of 12, who is too young to be charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
"If we thought that somebody would have been responsible for this death outside of this child, that person would have been arrested, charged accordingly and there would be a court date set. However, that's not the case here," Brost said in Regina.
"This is a child."
"There's no other person at this point in time in the investigation that could be responsible for this other than this child," he added.
Authorities have said Lee, who was not a member of the First Nation, was in the care of the Ministry of Social Services. His foster home was just off the reserve, where his foster mother had gone to play bingo.
Lee was last seen walking with the older boy outside the reserve's recreation complex.
RCMP received a report Lee was missing at about 10 p.m. on Aug. 21. He was found about 20 minutes later.
Lee died in hospital from head injuries police say were consistent with an assault. Brost said "something of opportunity" was used as a weapon.
"We are still looking towards what was used in that assault. We believe it was a weapon, certainly not a knife or a gun, but we are examining possibilities and using forensics to determine that," he said.
Brost said the young suspect, who is from the reserve, was known to police before the killing, but the officer refused to elaborate citing privacy legislation.
The two children did not know each other, he said.
The child responsible for the death is now in the custody of the province.
Brost said it may never be clear why Lee was killed.
"Why things like this actually happen and why events like this turn out the way they do, this is something that we hope to arrive at," said Brost.
"However, quite often the case -- and this is a unique case -- we may never find that answer."
-- The Canadian Press