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Carol Fournier was on a safety plan. Police say intimate partner violence killed her anyway

Sudbury Police issued two arrest warrants for Rick Jones in late October following domestic violence incidents involving Carol Fournier. They were unable to locate him and enforce the warrants in the weeks leading up to Fournier’s death.

Police were unable to locate her boyfriend Rick Jones in the weeks leading up to her death

A woman with dark hair wearing a grey sweater.

WARNING: This story contains details of intimate partner violence

In late October, the Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) received two intimate partner violence related calls involving Rick Jones and Carol Fournier.

According to Barry Ornella, a detective staff sergeant with the GSPS, charges were laid against Jones, but police were unable to locate him after the incidents.

So they turned to the courts, which issued two arrest warrants for Jones, effectively putting his name on all police databases throughout Canada.

"Ultimately, Jones evaded police and was not apprehended," said Ornella.

Fournier's body was found in a wooded area in Sudbury last Wednesday. Police say she died of blunt-force injuries.

Over the weekend, authorities found Jones' body in the same area.

A post-mortem will be done on Tuesday to determine the exact cause of death, but police are already pointing to the role intimate partner violence played in this case.

Ornella says Fournier was on a safety plan while police worked to locate and prosecute Jones.

While he cannot speak about the specifics of the plan, he says that protocol typically involves making sure the person has means of communicating with 911, they have cameras at their place of residence, and they have services, friends or family available to help them in case of need.

"I cannot speak to specifics, however I can say safety planning and safeguard steps were taken in this situation and community partners were engaged," said Ornella.

Family member describes Fournier as a strong, caring person

Fournier will be missed by her three children, her sister, aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends.

Many of them, like her cousin Francine Seaborne, are still absorbing the news of her sudden and violent death.

"I still don't believe it," she said. "I'm still waiting for her to text me."

Seaborne says Fournier was a loving and caring person who chose to become a personal support worker after witnessing her own parents battle illness.

"She cared about everybody, she wanted to help others, even if she herself was in trouble, she never let anybody know," she said.

Seaborne says she can't help but feel a sense of guilt.

"I know she was sort of asking for help, but not really because she wanted to be strong," said Seaborne.

In the weeks leading up to Fournier's death, Seaborne says she reached out to her to tell her she was there for her and loved her, but says Fournier dismissed the severity of the situation.

"She didn't want to leave. She would say, I'm doing OK, I'm hanging in there, I'm just venting."

Seaborne says the last message she ever sent Fournier read "I love you."

"I'm glad that those were the last words that she saw. Because I love her. We all love her. She did not deserve this hand she was dealt in any way."

Recent incident in northern Ontario

Fournier's death comes on the heels of a tragic intimate partner violence incident that left five people dead in Sault Ste. Marie on October 24.

Gaëtane Pharand, the executive director of the Centre Victoria pour femmes in Sudbury, worries that people will become desensitized to these types of stories.

"There could be a sense of, 'Oh, here we go again'. And I want to make sure these deaths are not set aside. They have to be seen within the context of intimate partner violence," she said.

Pharand says Fournier's death is a reminder that everyone should be paying attention to this issue.

She hopes her death will prompt communities, agencies and authorities to come together to protect women facing these types of dangers.

For anyone affected by family or intimate partner violence, there is support available through crisis lines and local support services. ​​If you're in immediate danger or fear for safety or that of others around you, please call 911


Aya Dufour


Aya Dufour is a CBC reporter based in northern Ontario. She often writes about the mining industry and Indigenous sovereignty. Follow her on Twitter @AyaDufour.

    Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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