Lucien Spence will remember his niece Jasmine Normand as a beautiful, quiet and caring young woman. He will miss her gentle voice.
Normand, 27, was found dead in a West End apartment building earlier this week. An autopsy later determined that she died as a result of a homicide, police say.
“We want some answers. We want to find out what happened,” Spence told CBC News.
On Thursday, a vigil was held in her honour. Roses and candles were distributed to people who attended so they could lay them upon a shrine and honour her spirit.
During the ceremony, Spence played a song on his guitar about going home. Another woman banged a drum and sang an honour song.
“We loved Jasmine. We cared for her,” Spence told those in attendance.
Normand was adopted as a child, and it was only in her 20s that she started connecting with her blood relatives, he told CBC News.
“We were just starting to get to know her,” he said.
“She was getting to know her mom, us, her granny. She lived in the block where my mom lived, so we would see her from time to time and talk.”
At times, Normand would isolate herself but the family would let her know that she could come to them if she ever needed anything, he added.
Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, manager of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls liaison unit, paid her respects Thursday evening.
“It’s really heartbreaking when we lose one of our Indigenous sisters to homicide,” said Anderson-Pyrz.
This sort of violence keeps happening, she adds, and it requires governments to step up and help.
Right now, the family just wants any information they can get about the circumstances leading up to Normand’s death, said Spence.
The Winnipeg Police Service is asking the public for help to determine Normand’s whereabouts, activities and anyone she may have been in contact with in the days leading up to her body being found.
Anyone with relevant information is asked to call the WPS homicide unit at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-8477.
Spence says anyone with information can also contact him through social media.
WATCH | ‘We loved Jasmine’: Vigil pays tribute to homicide victim: