Family Stays Optimistic as Rinelle Harper Recovers from Injuries

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Rinelle Harper told her parents at a family supper that she was going out to visit a friend. Leaving her rented family home in Winnipeg, Harper told her mom in her native Oji-Cree language that “mom, I’m leaving now.” Parents of the 16-year-old girl, Caesar and Julie Harper, got extremely suspicious and worried when their daughter did not return until Friday night.

Thereafter, the Harpers’ family home was visited by police officers at around 5 p.m. on Saturday.  During an interview with the family at the hotel where the teen is recovering, Julie, alleged that “it’s every parent’s nightmare to have the detectives knock on your door.” She said that “they asked us if Rinelle was our daughter. [An officer] told us that she had been lying by the river, on the sidewalk, and that now she was on life support. She was an unknown female all day. I forget what they said next. I was in shock.”

Rinelle spent almost a complete week in hospital and was discharged last Friday from the children’s ward. However, she is still having pain and trouble breathing, partly due to the 45 minutes of CPR she endured hours after the vicious attack. It was revealed that her back hurts when she bends down and tie her shoelaces and also her right eye is bloodshot, likely from whichever blow it was that fractured her cheekbone. Upon inquiring Rinelle about how she is faring, she alleged “Good,” and about is she feeling better and better each day? She said “Yeah.”

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