A man has been arrested in connection to the assault of a 6-year-old Alberta, Canada girl found in the woods on the Paul Band First Nation property near Edmonton on Saturday. The girl was reportedly airlifted to a hospital in critical condition, suffering from “traumatic injuries related to blunt trauma,” according to local emergency services.
According to Global News, the girl had come home from skating with friends on Saturday afternoon, and was “left alone with a relative.” When other family members returned home later, the girl and her relative were gone. The family began to worry when the two didn’t return for some time.
The girl was later discovered in the woods, where she was severely injured and apparently had been left for dead. She was lying in the snow, naked and suffering from hypothermia. Family members say she was so badly beaten that they could barely recognize her.
“The way he beat her, put her in a coma, and raped her. That shouldn’t happen to little children,” a relative said. “This person that did that has got to be some kind of an animal, to not even think that he’s harming another human being.”
The girl is reportedly in a coma at a Children’s hospital and in serious but stable condition. “It’s so heartbreaking,” another relative said. “I can’t imagine… I mean, she’s just a little girl. And he’s a full grown man.” Police have not released the identities of the victim or the suspect.
The Paul Band First Nation released a statement in response to the incident, requesting privacy for the family.
“We trust the family’s wishes will be fully respected so they can focus all of their energy, attention and prayers on the victim’s immediate well-being and what we are all hoping and praying will be a speedy and full recovery.”