(THUNDER BAY, ON) – A body was found deceased by a passerby this morning at Chapples Park, as we reported earlier in the day. The Thunder Bay Police Service was on scene with multiple cruisers and officers, as well as the forensic identification unit.
Multiple people reported the strong police presence at the park around noon today via our tip line, and we responded to the scene to begin our own investigation as to what was going on. We reported at 1:25 pm that it was a possible death, which was confirmed hours later by city police.
City police also later confirmed that they were on scene of the deceased body discovery since about 11:30 am, and had closed off the entry to Chapples Park to vehicular traffic, but not pedestrians. Police also had a pathway that lead into a semi-wooded area blocked off as well, where a significantly large area had been closed off by yellow crime scene tape.
We have since been contacted by a member of the family of 17-year-old Braiden Jacob that he has been located at the scene. The family member believes that this was likely a homicide.
Braiden was last seen in the Limbrick area during the early hours of Thursday, December 6th, 2018. He was described by the Thunder Bay Police Service as an Indigenous male standing about 6’0” tall with a slim build. He has short black hair, and brown eyes.
According to the family of Braiden, he was missing for three days until today. Police have yet to release any information regarding the missing boy or any information surrounding the details their investigation has revealed.
The community’s thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the family of the boy during this extremely difficult time. This death increases the number of teenaged Indigenous students that have died in Thunder Bay this decade. There was an inquest into the previous deaths of Indigenous youth that resulted in numerous recommendations made that were supposed to mitigate these issues happening.
Residents in the Northwood area closer to Chapples Park have told TRCCTB.COM that city police officers were canvassing the neighbourhood looking for anyone who might have seen anything suspicious in the area days before the body was discovered. The investigation is continuing into what had happened to cause the boy’s death.
Police have yet to release additional details surrounding an Indigenous woman that was found murdered in a Cummings street back alley earlier this year. The details released surrounding that woman released were just that she was believed to have been murdered, but not how or who any suspects were.