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Teen's suicide leads to many questions

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Should a child be allowed to continue with living with a parent who is facing a murder charge - and the victim is the other parent?That's the question many are asking these days in the wake of a tragic Manitoba case.In case you missed my story in Wednesday's Free Press - click HERE to read - a 14-year-old girl took her own life early Tuesday morning.The suicide happened just hours before the girl's mother was set to appear in court on a second-degree murder charge for the stabbing death of the girl's father.The slaying happened in a northern Aboriginal community two years ago. The suspect's lawyer tells me her client has been living with her daughter ever since while out on bail.In fact, the teen has even attended some of her mother's court appearances in an apparent show of support.Now, I don't profess to know the intimate details of this killing or what the woman's potential defence(s) may be.But what I do know is that allowing a young girl to continue living in the home environment with the parent accused of killing the other parent isn't exactly a recipe for a stable environment.Did this play into the fact the girl tragically killed herself this week? Who knows. But it certainly doesn't look good.My colleagues at the Free Press, Lindor Reynolds and Mia Rabson, did an extremely thorough job recently exposing the many flaws which exist in Child and Family Services.There seems to be a particular problem in the area of native CFS, where a "keep the family unit together at all costs" mentality clearly exists in many cases that have ended in tragedy.Looks like we've now got another one to add to the list.What are your thoughts?Are you angry this teen girl wasn't put into foster care while her mother was awaiting trial?Or do you think keeping them together in the wake of an obvious family tragedy - albeit one allegedly caused by the mother - was the best of a bad situation?

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About Mike McIntyre

Journalist, national radio show host, author, pundit and cruise director ... Mike McIntyre loves to keep busy.

Mike is the justice reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press, where he has worked since 1997. He produces and hosts the weekly talk radio show Crime and Punishment, which runs on the Corus Radio Network in several Canadian cities.

Born and bred in Winnipeg, Mike graduated from River East Collegiate and completed his journalism studies in the Creative Communications program at Red River College.

He and his wife, Chassity, have two children.

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