Boy, 7, vic­tim of homi­cide

The Niagara Falls Review - - FRONT PAGE - GRANT LAFLECHE

Ni­a­gara Re­gional Po­lice are seek­ing Canada-wide ar­rest war­rants for Justin Kui­jer for first-de­gree mur­der and at­tempted mur­der in con­nec­tion to the death of a sev­enyear-old St. Catharines boy and a Fri­day stab­bing at a lo­cal bank.

On Sun­day Const. Phil Gavin said po­lice would ap­ply for the war­rants this morn­ing when the courts open, and that the 43-year-old Kui­jer is still con­sid­ered to be armed and dan­ger­ous.

“We are talk­ing about se­ri­ous crim­i­nal of­fences here. Two fam­i­lies have suf­fered tremen­dously by these vi­o­lent acts. This has im­pacted the en­tire com­mu­nity,” Gavin said dur­ing a press brief­ing at the NRP’s St. Catharines of­fice. “We are ask­ing any­one who has in­for­ma­tion about Mr. Kui­jer to call 911.”

Kui­jer was al­ready wanted for at­tempted mur­der af­ter a man en­tered the RBC on Martin­dale Road Fri­day morn­ing and stabbed an em­ployee.

Gavin said po­lice be­lieve the woman was de­lib­er­ately tar­geted, and the at­tack was nei­ther the re­sult of a do­mes­tic dis­pute nor a rob­bery gone bad. Po­lice said the vic­tim was known to her as­sailant but po­lice are still try­ing to de­ter­mine the mo­tive for the at­tack.

About 10 min­utes be­fore the bank as­sault, a 911 call was made from an apart­ment at 173 Queen­ston St., where Kui­jer’s step­son, Nathan Du­mas was found crit­i­cally in­jured. He was dis­cov­ered in the apart­ment by his mother Whit­ney Du­mas.

The boy died at St. Catharines hos­pi­tal Satur­day morn­ing.

The boy’s mom said she ar­rived at the apart­ment at about 10:15 a.m Fri­day and was met at the front door by Kui­jer, her ex-boyfriend, who had his bags packed and was ready to leave.

The pair had been to­gether for nearly six years, and Du­mas had re­cently broke up with him.

“I said to him, ‘Well let’s go in­side and talk about ar­range­ments for our kids.’ We have three kids,” Du­mas said in an in­ter­view with

The Stan­dard. “He asked for my keys to my van so he could go get a cof­fee. That’s when I went into the house and found my son.”

The cause of Nathan’s death is not be­ing re­leased by po­lice for in­ves­tiga­tive rea­sons, said Gavin.

“He was the kind­est lit­tle boy you’d ever meet. Ev­ery­body loved him,” his mom said in a tear-filled in­ter­view. “He was such an old soul.”

Du­mas said a friend of Nathan’s lost an eye in an ac­ci­dent more than a year ago, and re­ceived a do­nated eye.

“He had two dif­fer­ent eye colours, so I had to ex­plain to Nathan why that was. And he said to me, ‘Mom, that is what I want. If some­thing ever hap­pens to me, that’s what I want,’” Du­mas said. “But we can’t do that (do­nate Nathan’s or­gans) be­cause of the mea­sures they took to try and save his life.”

Du­mas said she doesn’t un­der­stand why any­one would hurt her son other than as a way to hurt her.

Du­mas’s Queen­ston Street apart­ment had been sealed by po­lice un­til Satur­day as part of their on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Gavin said the apart­ment has been re­leased by po­lice, but of­fi­cers are re­main­ing there as a se­cu­rity pre­cau­tion.

“I don’t have any­thing right now,” Du­mas said Satur­day. “I don’t have clothes for my kids. I don’t have clothes for me. My whole world has been ripped apart. I just want jus­tice for my son and for that lady at the bank. I want him found.”

Friends of Du­mas launched a Go Fund Me cam­paign to help pay for Nathan’s fu­neral. In a Face­book post Satur­day, Du­mas said fu­neral ar­range­ments for her son are be­ing cov­ered Vic­tims Ser­vices Ni­a­gara.

Gavin said po­lice will not dis­cuss how the death of Nathan and the stab­bing at the bank are con­nected.

He said the vic­tim of the stab­bing re­mains in sta­ble con­di­tion. Her name and the hos­pi­tal she is at are not be­ing re­leased as a se­cu­rity pre­cau­tion while Kui­jer re­mains at large, Gavin said.

Po­lice be­gan a man­hunt for Kui­jer, 43, of St. Catharines for at­tempted mur­der af­ter the at­tack at the RBC Fri­day morn­ing.

Po­lice be­lieve he is in Du­mas’s grey 2009 Pon­tiac Mon­tana van with the li­cence plate BYTE 392.

Gavin said there is a flo­ral sticker on the back of the van in mem­ory of miss­ing women in Canada re­lated to Ash­ley Simp­son, a St. Catharines woman and Du­mas’s friend who dis­ap­peared in Bri­tish Columbia in 2016.

Po­lice do not know where Kui­jer is, and have been in con­tact with other law en­force­ment agen­cies, in­clud­ing On­tario Pro­vin­cial Po­lice and bor­der pa­trol of­fi­cers, as part of their in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Gavin said.

He urged Kui­jer to turn him­self in peace­fully.

Po­lice are ask­ing any­one who knows the lo­ca­tion of Kui­jer or the van to call 911.

Kui­jer is de­scribed as white with a thin build, trimmed beard and longer dark hair. He was wear­ing a black tuque, brown leather coat, dark pants, boots and an or­ange hoodie.

GRANT LAFLECHE/POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

NRP Const. Phil Gavin up­dates the press on the Justin Kui­jer man­hunt Sun­day af­ter­noon. Inset: Seven-year-old Nathan Du­mas died Satur­day morn­ing in hos­pi­tal af­ter be­ing found crit­i­cally in­jured Fri­day. Kui­jer, 43, of St. Catharines, is a sus­pect in his mur­der.

SUP­PLIED PHOTO

Justin Kui­jer is wanted for first-de­gree mur­der and at­tempted mur­der.

FACE­BOOK PHOTO

Photo of Whit­ney Du­mas’ van that she posted on Face­book Satur­day.

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