(UPDATED) Nunavut man, youth each charged with murder in death of 12-year-old boy
Glenn Kadlak Jr., 21, of Rankin Inlet charged in the July 2017 death of Ray Taparti Jr., 12
(updated Oct. 11, 4:10 p.m.)
Nunavut police have arrested and charged a second person, a youth, in connection with the July 2017 death of Ray “O.J.” Taparti Jr., the Nunavut RCMP said Oct. 11.
The RCMP held a news conference last weekend to announce the arrest of 21-year-old Glenn Kadlak Jr. of Rankin Inlet, who has been charged with Taparti’s murder.
And now, police say they’ve arrested a second suspect, a minor, who is also charged with murder.
Because the second suspect is a youth, the RCMP said Oct. 11 they cannot release any further details for now.
Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, it is illegal to publish information that could identify an accused young person who is between 12 and 17 years of age.
“We are continuing to work with the prosecution team,” an RCMP spokesperson said Oct. 11.
Taparti Jr.’s body was found July 7, 2017 in an industrial area of Rankin Inlet, days after the 12-year-old had gone missing in the Kivalliq community of about 2,800 people.
The boy’s death was always considered a homicide, though it took over a year for police to release any news about its investigation.
“This investigation has been a priority for the division since the very beginning, with a focus on determining what happened and gathering the information and evidence necessary to bring justice for O.J.,” police said in an Oct. 6 statement.
At the Oct. 6 news conference, RCMP Inspector Ryan Mitchell said the investigation is one of the largest that the “V” division major crime unit has ever done, and he thanked the many partners and specialized police units from across the country who helped them solve the boy’s homicide.
Over the past 15 months, more than 100 police officers did more than 75 interviews, and members of 15 agencies or departments put in thousands of investigative hours, the RCMP said.
Mitchell said the RCMP has spoken to the deceased boy’s family about the arrest and will continue to support them with victims’ services.
“I would like to express my condolences to the family and the people of Rankin Inlet,” Mitchell said.
“Our thoughts have been with you since the onset of this file in early July 2017, and it doesn’t end here tonight with this milestone being reached. We will continue to support you through the prosecution of this matter and obtaining justice for O.J.,” he said.
And the family issued this short statement, shared by police: “We are relieved to hear someone is in custody tonight. We ask now for privacy as we heal.”
Kadlak and Taparti are believed to have been “casual acquaintances,” police said. They said Kadlak’s presence in Rankin Inlet prior to his arrest in Iqaluit did not create a public safety issue.
Police gave no more information on the circumstances around Taparti’s death, Kadlak’s arrest, or whether Kadlak is charged with first or second degree murder.
The homicide is one of 12 that have occurred in Nunavut over the past 18 months.
Nunavut Justice Minister Jeannie Ehaloak said in a news release that “the loss of Ray Taparti Jr. in July of 2017 had a devastating impact on his family and the community of Rankin Inlet.
“Now that charges have been laid, the community can work on moving forward…. This was a heartbreaking incident that has affected many Nunavummiut,” Ehaloak said.
When asked why the news of the arrest was announced on a Sunday evening, during a holiday weekend, Danielle Pollock of the RCMP “V” division major crime unit said that the arrest was “something we felt the public should know now.”
The RCMP had issued public pleas for information that could help solve Taparti’s homicide, the last one in January 2018.
(With files from Beth Brown in Iqaluit, Jane George, Sarah Rogers)