Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Boy freezes to death at CFB Shilo

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Relatives of a troubled teenage boy who left the North to start a new life on a military base are in shock after learning Kingsley Redhead is dead of exposure.

The 15-year-old from Shamattawa First Nation moved to Canadian Forces Base Shilo in December to stay with an uncle who is posted on the base, Redhead’s aunt, Nancy Thomas, said from Shamattawa.

Redhead’s body was found near the schoolyard on the base by someone walking a dog Sunday morning. He had last been seen on his way to a sleepover Saturday night.

“All I can say is, it was a shock,” said the teen’s aunt.

There was no word on funeral arrangements.

Brandon RCMP don’t suspect foul play. But they can’t explain why the teen wasn’t dressed for the extreme cold. Temperatures had plunged to -30 C Saturday night and, with the wind chill, it felt like -40.

Police are still investigating the death and a spokeswoman for CFB Shilo, Lori Truscott, said military authorities are also looking into it.

Redhead is the third person known to have frozen to death in Manitoba since Jan. 1, and the second to be found on Sunday.

Thomas said her nephew moved to Shilo because he admired an uncle in the military there. He wondered if the military life might help him too, Thomas said.

Redhead had wanted to leave Shamattawa for months, ever since his sister had been found murdered last January.

“He was still grieving his late sister. It has not even been a year. He’d wanted to go to Shilo to get away from Shamattawa,” the aunt said tonight.

The remote northern Cree community has battled a solvent abuse epidemic for decades.

Kingsley was determined it wouldn’t claim him, Thomas said.

“He use to sniff gas before. Him and his late sister used to sniff gas. He stopped sniffing when his late sister was beaten (to death),” Thomas said.

Abby Redhead was 15 when her body was found in the northern community.

It’s believed she was hit with a piece of wood during an altercation outside a house.

For the younger brother, the sister’s death was a profound wake-up call, the aunt said.

“After her death, the father really helped him, talked to him. He was really angry about what happened,” Thomas said, describing the boy’s fury over his sister’s murder.

Redhead responded by signing up for an extensive treatment program to kick his habit.

The boy spent three months at the Whiskey Jack Treatment Centre in Norway House First Nation.

He’d been clean since then, Thomas said tonight.

“He wasn’t into drugs. He wasn’t into sniff and he wasn’t into alcohol,” Thomas said.

Redhead had four other siblings, all older than he was.

Shamattawa is 320 kilometres northeast of Thompson.

alexandra.paul@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 21, 2008 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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