Weeks after stabbing in Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., deceased victim's family wonders why no one's in custody

Harley Pierrot was fatally stabbed in Fort Good Hope, N.W.T. in mid-June. Some of his family members say there still hasn't been arrest and they believe the person responsible remains in the community.  (Submitted by Judy Menacho - image credit)
Harley Pierrot was fatally stabbed in Fort Good Hope, N.W.T. in mid-June. Some of his family members say there still hasn't been arrest and they believe the person responsible remains in the community. (Submitted by Judy Menacho - image credit)

Judy Menacho says she's nervous to travel to Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., with her family for the funeral of her son-in-law.

That's because Menacho believes Harley Pierrot's killer has not been arrested and is still in the community.

Menacho is travelling from Tulita to remember Pierrot, who she and other family members say died in the hospital on June 28 after being stabbed weeks earlier.

"I am still taking them there," she said of her family, "but I'm very uneasy about it."

Wilfred McNeely Jr., Pierrot's uncle, said he believes everyone in the community of about 600 knows who stabbed his nephew. He said there was also a video of the incident posted online that has since been removed.

Menacho said she has asked the RCMP for updates on their investigation and has heard nothing. As of Monday, the latest she had heard from people in the community is that the person believed to have stabbed Pierrot was not in custody.

"I want justice to do what it's there for," she said.

"I'm not getting any answers."

Menacho described Pierrot as a "funny" and "joking person" who was "always singing."

She said he leaves behind three children.

No update from RCMP

CBC News reached out to the RCMP to ask if anybody had been arrested, and for other details of the alleged stabbing.

CBC isn't naming the person believed to have stabbed Pierrot because no charges have been laid against them.

"This matter remains under investigation and we are not in a position to provide an update at this time," wrote Const. Josh Seaward, a spokesperson for the RCMP, in an email.

CBC News asked if officers stayed in Fort Good Hope during the wildfire evacuation — which ended over the weekend — and if the nearby fire had affected the investigation. Seaward only said RCMP members have officially returned to the community "full-time" as of Friday afternoon.

CBC News reached out to the N.W.T. coroner who referred any inquiries about the case to RCMP.

McNeely Jr., Pierrot's uncle, told CBC News he believes the wildfire evacuation may have interfered with the police investigation.

McNeely Jr. said he saw the person he believes attacked his nephew around the community during the evacuation and that the person's presence was difficult for many of Pierrot's family members.

"Of course they're all upset,"  he said.

"My older sister is a cook and she was helping out around the band hall and he's there all the time. And so she quit her job because she doesn't want to see him everyday."