The Hamilton Spectator

Slain Manitoba family identified in obituary

- CARMAN, MAN.

A mother, her three young children, including a two-month-old daughter, and a teenage family member killed in Manitoba are being remembered as beautiful souls.

An obituary has identified the victims as Amanda Clearwater, her children — Bethany, Jayven, and Isabella Manoakeesi­ck — and her niece Myah-Lee Gratton.

“It is with great sorrow to announce the sudden and tragic death of these innocent lives,” said the obituary from Doyle’s Funeral Home in Carman, southwest of Winnipeg.

Family and friends have also been sharing stories of the family on social media, calling their deaths tragic, unimaginab­le and a horrible nightmare. Their bodies were found Sunday at multiple crime scenes in and around the town of Carman. Clearwater’s commonlaw partner, who is the children’s father, was arrested the same day.

Ryan Howard Manoakeesi­ck, 29, has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder. RCMP have not identified the victims but said Manoakeesi­ck’s partner was 30, their oldest daughter was six, their son was four, and their baby girl was two months. The woman’s niece was 17.

The couple had been together off and on for at least 12 years. Facebook posts from 2011 show Clearwater calling Manoakeesi­ck her boyfriend and writing that she doesn’t know what she’d do without him.

A year later, she posts that her boyfriend had moved to the city and no longer lived next door.

Throughout the years, Clearwater posts about how much she loves Manoakeesi­ck and how she misses him, but also about anger and tears.

Court records show Manoakeesi­ck had a criminal record. His next court appearance for the murder charges is Feb. 23.

RCMP have said autopsies are taking place this week as they continue to investigat­e how the deaths unfolded.

Police were first called to an area outside Carman, a town of about 3,000 people, early Sunday for a report of a hit-and-run. Clearwater was found lying dead in a ditch.

More than two hours later, and 70 kilometres to the north, officers were called to a report of a burning vehicle. RCMP said Manoakeesi­ck was seen by witnesses pulling the three children from the vehicle.

The children were pronounced dead, and police took Manoakeesi­ck into custody at the scene.

Common law partner of the woman has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder

 ?? THE CANADIAN PRESS ?? The scene of an ongoing investigat­ion regarding five deaths in southern Manitoba.
THE CANADIAN PRESS The scene of an ongoing investigat­ion regarding five deaths in southern Manitoba.

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