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Update: RCMP say death of woman in burned house 'appears' non-suspicious

The mother of the victim, however, said that her daughter's body was too destroyed by the fire to determine a cause of death.

NORTH BATTLEFORD — Update 4: June 21, 5 p.m.: Police say the death of a woman whose body was found in a burned out house in North Battleford Monday “appears” to be non-suspicious in nature, and they couldn't find any evidence at the scene.

"The Saskatchewan Coroners Service’s initial investigation has determined the female’s death appears to be non-suspicious in nature," said Saskatchewan RCMP in a media release late Friday afternoon. "As investigation has now determined this is a non-suspicious fire and sudden death, no further updates or information can be provided."

Tara Pritchard, however, told SaskToday Friday morning that her daughter's body was too destroyed by the fire to determine a cause of death.

Pritchard said she has been notified by authorities that the victim is her daughter, 20-year-old Tanisha Pritchard. Her body was found in the rubble of the fire two days after the fire, say authorities. Police have identified the victim but haven't released her name.

Twenty-year-old Tanisha Pritchard's body was found Monday in the rubble of the house fire at 952–105 Street in North Battleford. This is the same house where the assault against Tiki Laverdiere started before she was murdered, and its owner, Mavis Takakenew, was one of 10 people convicted in her death. North Battleford residents are now calling it the "house of horrors."

 

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Tanisha Pritchard. Tanisha Pritchard Facebook

Mavis Takakenew's house, at 952-105th Street in North Battleford, was where the torture of Laverdiere started before she was taken to two other houses and eventually murdered. This is the second house where Laverdiere was tortured that has been wiped out. The second house Laverdiere was taken to, 1412-101st Street in North Battleford, has since been torn down. The third house at 1432 – 101st Street, where Laverdiere was tortured for about five to six hours and then murdered, is the only one still standing.

One of the prosecutors who prosecuted the 10 people convicted called Laverdiere's murder a "horror movie," and a defence lawyer for one of the 10 accused said Laverdiere's murder was the 'most horrific gang murder in Saskatchewan history.

Update 3: As a result of continued investigation by the Saskatchewan Coroners Service, the deceased individual has been identified as an adult female from North Battleford. Her family has been notified.

Update 2: The fire was investigated by the North Battleford Fire Department. On June 17, firefighters located human remains at the site of the fire.

Fire investigators with the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) are now investigating the cause and origin of the fire. The cause of both the individual’s death and the fire have not been established. The Saskatchewan Coroners Service will be conducting an autopsy on the deceased, and will work to identify them.

Battlefords RCMP continues to monitor the file. If the SPSA or Saskatchewan Coroners Service determines criminality is involved, police will take over that portion of the investigation.

RCMP say that Major Crimes is not currently investigating this fire, as indicated in previous reports. 

According to the City of North Battleford, the identity of the deceased has not been released and file has been referred to the Saskatchewan RCMP Major Crimes Unit and to the provincial Fire Marshall for further investigation.

The cause of the fire remains undetermined at this time, says the city.

ORIGINAL STORY: The house in North Battleford where the assault and torture of Tiki Laverdiere started went up in flames Saturday and has been completely destroyed, according to the North Battleford Fire Department.

The cause of the fire is "undetermined," North Battleford Deputy Fire Chief Paul Perry told SaskToday in a phone interview Monday morning.

Perry said they were dispatched to the house fire at 7:51 p.m. on June 15. Two fire engines and a command unit responded. RCMP were on hand for traffic control, as well as Community Safety Officers.

Perry said firefighters were able to protect all surrounding buildings and houses.

One person sustained minor injuries.

"A male occupant of the residence was transported to the hospital for medical treatment of minor cuts and lacerations from glass when he exited the structure from a second floor window," said Candace Toma, Public & Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator for the City of North Battleford in a media release Monday. "No other injuries have been reported. A neighbouring residence sustained minimal radiant heat damage from the blaze. NBFD officials do not believe the fire to be suspicious in nature, but the cause is undetermined at this time."

Firefighters remained on scene until 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

Mavis Takakenew's house, at 952-105th Street in North Battleford, was where the torture of Tiki Laverdiere started before she was taken to two other houses and eventually murdered. This is the second house where Tiki Laverdiere was tortured to be wiped out. The second house she was taken to at 1412-101st Street in North Battleford, beside the library, has since been torn down.

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The second house Tiki Laverdiere was taken to at 1412-101 Street in North Battleford, beside the library, has since been torn down. Google Earth photo

Mavis Takakenew was one of 10 people convicted in Laverdiere's death.

One of the prosecutors who prosecuted the 10 people convicted called Laverdiere's murder a "horror movie," and a defence lawyer for one of the accused said Laverdiere's murder was the 'most horrific gang murder in Saskatchewan history.'

This story by SaskToday first published on June 15, 2024, and updated on June 17, 2024.