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Carman ’in shock and in mourning’ after 5 deaths, including 3 children

Children's toys could be seen Monday in a yard in Carman, surrounded by yellow police tape.

Children's toys could be seen Monday in a yard in Carman, surrounded by yellow police tape.

Photo: Radio-Canada

RCI

Crisis response teams are in place at schools in Carman where children were students

People in the small southern Manitoba town of Carman are in disbelief after five people — including three children — were found dead on Sunday.

One step at a time, I guess. I'm sure we'll all find out more, but the whole incident of how it happened and why … it's just all very odd, said Susie Stewart, who has lived in Carman, 75 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg, for 25 years.

I think the whole town is in shock and in mourning. It's very shocking [but] people need to realize that things can happen anywhere — in a small town, in the cities, wherever, she said.

She didn't know any of the people who died.

A 29-year-old man was taken into custody on Sunday but charges were not laid at that time.

RCMP are holding a news conference at 2 p.m. Monday to provide an update on the investigation. Premier Wab Kinew, Justice Minister Matt Wiebe, Families Minister Nahanni Fontaine and Cathy Merrick, grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, will be in attendance.

CBC will livestream the news conference here and on Gem. 

RCMP found the body of a woman after responding to a report of a hit and run on Highway 3 between Carman and Winkler at 7:30 a.m. The woman's body was in a ditch just off the highway.

About 2½ hours later and 70 kilometres north of Carman, officers were called to a report of a burning vehicle and learned a witness had pulled three children from it.

The children were pronounced dead and police took the man into custody there.

Further investigation led officers to a home in Carman, where they found the body of a woman inside. The deaths are connected events, police said.

Children's toys and a bike could be seen lying in the backyard of the home on Monday as forensic crews went in and out of the small bungalow.

Terry Osiowy, superintendent of the Prairie Rose School Division, issued a statement on Monday offering thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the victims.

Our school division is committed to supporting our students, staff and community through the many challenging times that this tragedy will bring to us, the statement said. Crisis response teams are in place at Carman Collegiate and Carman Elementary School, where the children were students, the statement said.

In an interview with CBC News, Osiowy said school divisions from across the province have reached out to offer any supports Prairie Rose might need but so far we're handling it within our system.

Both buildings are relatively quiet right now. What we're feeling is probably everybody's just in a state of shock and disbelief that a tragedy like this could hit our community and the complexity of it.

There are some student absences, which Osiowy believes could be due to those kids being more distraught.

His advice to parents helping their children cope with understanding what happened is just to be open and honest and hear them. They need to feel safe.

If parents are struggling, they are urged to reach out to either of the schools.

We will do whatever we can, Osiowy said. We'll be debriefing with both schools at 4 p.m. today and to find out if there's other supports we have to put in place.

Darren Bernhardt (new window) · CBC News

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