First-degree murder charges laid in relation to tragic 2019 fire in KI
Tim Brody - Editor
A 42-year-old Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation man has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder in connection with a fatal house fire in that community in 2019.
On May 2, 2019, at approximately 5:00 a.m., members of the K.I. Police Service and Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a report of a fire at a residence on Macheetao Road in KI.
On May 5, 2019, five bodies were located and recovered from the home that was destroyed as a result of the fire.
The five victims, whose deaths were determined to have been caused by smoke inhalation, were identified as:
- Geraldine Chapman (47)
- Angel McKay (12)
- Karl Cutfeet (9)
- Hailey Chapman (7)
- Shyra Chapman (6)
The investigation was conducted by members of the OPP North West Regional Crime Unit, OPP Forensic Identification Services (FIS) and K.I. Police Service under the direction of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB). Members from the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM), Ontario Forensic Pathology Services (OFPS) - Forensic Anthropology and the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario (OCCO) worked in cooperation with the OPP.
In a Dec. 9 media release, Ontario Provincial Police shared that on Dec. 8, the OPP North West Regional Crime Unit, the OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT) and the K.I. Police Service under the direction of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) arrested Archie Gilbert McKay of K.I. First Nation.
The accused has been charged with five counts of First Degree Murder pursuant to section 235(1) of the Criminal Code. None of the charges have been proven in court.
Ontario Provincial Police are asking anyone with information regarding this investigation immediately contact them at 1-888-310-1122
People can also provide information anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or access their website at: http://www.p3tips.com/273.