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Charge laid in death of young We’koqma’q mother Cassidy Bernard


Cassidy Bernard was found dead in her home in We’kogma’q, Cape Breton on Oct. 24 FACEBOOK
Cassidy Bernard was found dead in her home in We’kogma’q, Cape Breton home on Oct. 24, 2018. - Facebook

After over 13 months of waiting, We’koqma’q finally sees hope for answers.

The RCMP is hosting a news conference in the small Cape Breton First Nation Tuesday morning to give an update in its investigation into what it has dubbed the “suspicious death” of Cassidy Bernard.

The widely loved young First Nation woman was discovered dead by a family member in her We’koqma’q home on Oct. 24, 2018. Her twin children, both infants, were also in the home and, though dehydrated, were found unhurt.

They are now being raised by Bernard’s mother, Mona Bernard.

While the RCMP news release was short on details, word spread through the community by word of mouth and on social media Monday that Bernard’s ex-boyfriend Austin Isadore had been charged.

The RCMP declined to say anything before their 11 a.m. news conference but community members confirmed Isadore has been charged with second-degree murder.

In May, Isadore said that he had been interviewed by the RCMP in relation to Bernard’s death.

“I didn’t think I would be a suspect. It never crossed my mind until they came knocking at my door at about 1 a.m.,” Isadore told The Chronicle Herald.

“I thought, ‘Holy s—t’ ... I have an alibi and that’s why I was released. The cops picked me up and everything. They talked to me for hours. They weren’t necessarily convinced I did it. I gave them what information I had and they followed up on it. I’m no longer a suspect.”

Isadore was already scheduled to appear in Wagmatcook provincial court on Wednesday on charges unrelated to Bernard’s death.

Those include uttering threats, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, unauthorized possession of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a prohibited drug and two counts each of failure to appear in court and breach of a recognizance.

The family has long maintained that Bernard was murdered.

They organized a march across the Canso Causeway last November that drew over a thousand people to raise awareness not just about her death, but also the plight of all missing and murdered aboriginal women.

In support, residents and businesses have hung red dresses in their windows and placed signs along Highway 104.

The First Nation's chief and council took the rare step of offering up a $100,000 reward for any information that led to an arrest.

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