Two charged with attempted murder in attack on Native girl

Donations for the family of Rinelle Harper are being coordinated by Leah Gazan. Image from Twitter

Two people have been charged with attempted murder in connection with a vicious attack on a 16-year-old Native girl in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Justin Hudson, 20, and a 17-year-old who can't be named under Canadian law, are accused of beating Rinelle Harper and leaving her for dead on the banks of the Assiniboine River. The girl remains hospitalized in intensive care.

"We thought we were going to lose her at first. It's amazing. It's a miracle. It's a miracle she survived," Louise Spence, the girl's great aunt, told CBC News. "Through faith, we prayed for her. A lot of people came to pray for her."

Rinelle was attacked twice around midnight on November 8. A passerby found her body around 7am on Saturday morning.

Rinelle's family allowed police in Winnipeg to make her name public in hopes of finding the people who attacked her. The strategy worked -- sources came forward with information and the two defendants were arrested on Tuesday.

Hudson and the 17-year-old are charged with attempted murder, aggravated sexual assault, and sexual assault with a weapon. Police say they also attacked another woman after attacking Rinelle.

The family is from the Garden Hill First Nation in northern Manitoba. Rinelle moved to Wininipeg in order to attend high school, CBC reported.

Hudson claimed to belong to a Native gang in Winnipeg, APTN reported. His biological father lives on the Berens River First Nation, APTN said.

“He was raised in the city by (Child and Family Services). He was in and out of CFS,” Brian McKay, who did not have a relationship with his son, told APTN. “He got apprehended all the time.”

Native women and their advocates in Winnipeg have been on edge since the murder of Tina Fontaine, a 15-year-old Native girl, in August. The crime remains unsolved.

Get the Story:
Teen Rinelle Harper 'left for dead' after being attacked twice (CBC 11/12)
Winnipeg police arrest 2 men for attack on 16-year-old Rinelle Harper (CTV 11/12)
Sixteen-year-old Rinelle Harper named as victim of Winnipeg attack (The Globe and Mail 11/12)
Two charged with attempted murder in Rinelle Harper case (The Winnipeg Free Press 11/12)
Attempted murder charges laid in vicious assault of Manitoba teen (CTV 11/12)
Man charged in Rinelle Harper attack raised by child welfare system, says biological father (CTV 11/12)
Rinelle Harper's family says they were not consulted about 'justice rally' (CBC 11/12)
Rinelle Harper will pull through after vicious attack, family says (CBC 11/11)
Police identify Rinelle Harper, 16, as victim in Midtown Bridge attack (CBC 11/10)

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