13 Mennonites now charged
THE number of adults charged with child abuse in a small Old Order Mennonite community in Manitoba has grown to 13.
On Thursday it was reported 10 adult community members were facing charges of assault and assault with a weapon as a result of an RCMP investigation.
But RCMP confirmed the number of people who have been charged in relation to the investigation has risen by three.
As was reported earlier this week, 53 children lived in the community before the crisis.
In January and June, the remaining 42 children were apprehended from the community by CFS.
However, a source said one teen ran away from his CFS placement back to his Mennonite home and was allowed to stay.
Another 13-year-old boy also ran away from his placement and remains missing. He has been in contact with community members but they don't know where he is, leaving only one or two children in the community.
Two women from the community are also said to be on the run, having apparently fled in the belief they were about to be charged.
None of the allegations against the community members has been proven in court.
The 40 Mennonite children remain in CFS care. They're said to be living in homes across Manitoba with Mennonites from other communities.
Man admits to defrauding MPI
ANOTHER man stood up in court Thursday and admitted his involvement in what's been described as the largest vehicle-insurance fraud scheme in the province's history.
Lamont Sesay, 32, pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.
The scheme involved up to 40 individuals between 2005 and 2009.
High-end and luxury cars were brought in from Ontario. Their odometers were rolled back and sales arranged to individuals who participated in staging phony accidents and thefts in a bid to secure insurance claims.
Manitoba Public Insurance claimed to have lost more than $800,000 to the scheme.
Of the people arrested in 2009 following a lengthy investigation, only five remain before the courts.
Sesay will be sentenced in the new year. Quincy Adurogboye, 33, and Norman Beardy, 44, recently pleaded guilty to fraud offences and will be sentenced Sept. 23.
Charges are still outstanding against Kaela Perry, who will appear in court Sept. 26.
Court was told Sesay will be ordered to make restitution to MPI for more than $60,000. Adurogboye will be ordered to repay more than $100,000 and Beardy will be ordered to repay $35,000.
Search for pilot continues
THE search continued Thursday for the pilot of a helicopter that crashed near Gillam Monday.
RCMP spokesman Cpl. Miles Hiebert said the RCMP's dive team began the search on Wednesday at the site where the helicopter's wreckage was located at Gull Lake, about 23 kilometres west of Gillam.
"The underwater recovery team spent the day there (Wednesday) and (returned) to the site today," Hiebert said.
Some material from the helicopter washed up on shore and is floating in the lake but it is believed the rest of the wreckage is under water, he said.
The helicopter was reported overdue after failing to arrive for a scheduled pickup Monday after leaving Gillam around 4:30 p.m.
The wreckage of the Bell 206 helicopter belonging to Custom Helicopters of St. Andrews was located Tuesday around noon by a military search-and-rescue team.
-- staff / Brandon Sun