New questions open old wounds for grieving Winnipeg family

New questions open old wounds for grieving Winnipeg family

New questions open old wounds for grieving Winnipeg family

WINNIPEG —; A Winnipeg family grieving the loss of their 18-year old daughter and sister is now coping with the news that she was a homicide victim.

Lydia Whitford, 18, died in July of this year at the foster home where she lived in the RM of Springfield.

RELATED: Manitoba RCMP investigate homicide of 18-year-old woman in RM of Springfield

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RCMP announced on Tuesday that her death has now been ruled a homicide and the investigation is still active.

“I don’t really understand why anybody would hurt her,” said Jessica Whitford, Lydia’ older sister.

Lydia was non-verbal, with epilepsy and autism. She had been in the care of child and family services for almost ten years.

Although she couldn’t speak, Jessica said Lydia was a loving, innocent person.

But not knowing what exactly happened to her sister for more than five months has made the grieving process more difficult.

“It would have helped to know what happened to her, just anything, not just questioning it,” she said.

“It’s been very tragic for our family, the impact is very negative on each one of my family members,” said Lloyd Whitford, Lydia’s older brother.

Both Lloyd and Jessica say it took a week for someone to tell them their sister had died after she passed away on July 14.

“They knew to get a hold of me and I would get a hold of my mom, they never did anything like that,” said Jessica.

An emailed statement from the provincial government says this delay is being investigated.

“Child & Family Services Division and the authority (Southern First Nations Network of Care) are looking into this,” read the statement.

RCMP have made no arrests in connection to Lydia Whitford’s homicide but the investigation is continuing.

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