‘Still my baby’: Sask woman mourns son who died after assault

The RCMP said they are looking for Wionna Katcheech, Alex Gopher and Colton Swiftwolfe, who face second-degree murder charges.

Mellissa Squair says she was in front of a grocery store with her son Quin three weeks ago when he told her he would take care of her for the rest of her life.

She said her son made the remarks after she told him she felt bad for the seniors struggling with their grocery bags at the shop in North Battleford, about 130 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.

“He’s like, ‘Don’t worry. I’m going to be taking care of you and I’ll take care of you forever,’” Mellissa Squair said Tuesday. “It made me smile, and I knew he meant it, because that’s the type of person he is. He loves his mom.”

RCMP said Monday that officers were called to the Saulteaux First Nation, 210 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon, on April 18 for a report of an assault. They found Quin Squair, 22, with serious injuries.

Officers provided first aid and called EMS to transport him to hospital, where he died four days later.

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Mellissa Squair said she laid next to her son every day until he died.

“He’s way bigger than I am, and he’s still my baby,” she said.

“I’m very grateful because most mothers don’t get that opportunity to say goodbye to their sons when something like this happens. That is one thing that I’m holding on to, that I was able to do that, even though no one wants to outlive their children.”

On Monday, RCMP said they’ve charged five people in Quin Squair’s death.

Two of the suspects have been arrested and officers are looking for the other three.

Mellissa Squair said her son and the accused knew each other and that he was visiting the First Nation.

She said she dropped him off at a home on Saulteaux First Nation about a week before the assault and wrote down the address.

“I just had a really bad feeling,” she said.

About a week later, she said she received a message through her son’s Facebook account from another person.

The person told her to go to the hospital to check on her son.

“I freaked out,” she said. “I said, who is this and what are you talking about? They said Quin was jumped and had to be flown to the hospital.”

Mellissa Squair said she immediately drove to the hospital in North Battleford, but later found out he had been in a hospital in Saskatoon.

She then drove to Saskatoon to see him at the hospital. She said she spoke with an RCMP officer and a social worker before she talked with the doctor.

“It was really hard, especially not knowing where he was and what was going on,” she said. “I knew something was terribly, terribly wrong with my son.”

Family from British Columbia and Alberta also came to say their goodbyes.

She said she wants him remembered as the “happiest, funniest person in the room.” He leaves behind his six-year-old son.

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“His son just adores him. He was always such a kind and compassionate person,” she said. “People bugged him about being a mama’s boy, but he didn’t care because he loves his mom.”

Riley Gopher, 26, and a 17-year-old, who can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, were arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Both are from Saulteaux First Nation and made their first court appearances Monday.

Mounties said they are looking for Wionna Katcheech, Alex Gopher and Colton Swiftwolfe, who also face second-degree murder charges.

Katcheech, 22, is from Saulteaux First Nation and is described as having long brown hair and brown eyes. RCMP have described her as five feet four inches tall and 161 pounds.

Alex Gopher, 31, is from Sweetgrass Frist Nation and is described as having short brown hair and brown eyes. He is six feet tall and 220 pounds.

Colton Swiftwolfe, 21, is from Moosomin First Nation and has short brown hair and brown eyes. He is five feet seven inches and 150 pounds.

RCMP have asked people who see the suspects not to approach them and to call 911.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 25, 2023.

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