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Newspaper reports Winnipeg teen killed last summer was in and out of foster care


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WINNIPEG - A 17-year-old Winnipeg girl killed last summer had been in and out of foster care during her short life and had an open file with the province's child welfare system when she died, the Winnipeg Free Press reports.
Fonessa Bruyere was returned to a family member's home less than three months before she died, despite allegations in a report that such a move could expose her to both drugs and the sex trade.
Fonessa, who would have turned 18 last month, had been involved with Child and Family Services since she was at least four years old.
The Free Press obtained two reports on her CFS involvement - one written after she was reported missing in early August 2007, and one after she was found dead Aug. 30.
Police call her death a homicide. No arrests have been made.
She is described in the first report as "a youth with drug addictions (crack cocaine) and a suspected history of prostitution."
The second report, dated Sept. 4, 2007, notes that at the time of her death there was an open protection file for Fonessa's family with Sagkeeng Child and Family Services.
Sagkeeng took over Fonessa's file just over a year before she died. The report into her death says just a few months earlier, she overdosed on drugs and spent a week in forced detox before CFS workers returned her to the home of a family member.
One report warns the person into whose care she was being placed was a drug addict and sex-trade worker. The report also says there were allegations the person into whose care Fonessa was being placed had been involving her in both prostitution and drug trafficking.
Elsie Flette, CEO of the Southern First Nations Child and Family Services Authority, said a full review of Fonessa's case hasn't been ruled out.
The police investigation and an investigation by the chief medical examiner - which is required by law - will help determine whether the authority does its own review, she said.
Fonessa is one of at least 14 children who died in 2007 and who were either in care or had an active CFS file within one year of their deaths. Those include natural deaths, murders, suicides and accidents.(Winnipeg Free Press)

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