A Canada-wide warrant has officially been issued for a St. Catharines man wanted in connection with the murder of his seven-year-old stepson and the attempted murder of a bank employee. Police would not release the condition of the child and said they had not confirmed the relationship of the child to the investigation Friday.
The stepfather, identified as Justin Kuijer, is also being sought in relation to a stabbing incident at a Royal Bank branch located at 211 Martindale Road on Friday in which a woman was sent to hospital.
Phil Gavin said Kuijer is considered armed and risky.
Friends of Nathan Dumas' family started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for funeral costs. "This has impacted the entire community", Gavin said during a press briefing at the NRP's St. Catharines office.
Police originally reported the stabbing as a violent bank robbery at an RBC branch, but Gavin clarified on Sunday that it wasn't a robbery or a domestic dispute. His whereabouts remained unknown Friday evening.
Asked if Kuijer is believed to still be in the Niagara area, Gavin said "the reality is we don't know where he is".
"He had two different eye colours, so I had to explain to Nathan why that was". He was rushed to hospital but died early Saturday morning. But we cant do that because of the measures they took to try and save his life..
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Police, he added, have received several tips from people believing they had seen the dark grey van Kuijer was believed to be driving - a 2009 Pontiac Montana van with the licence plate BYTE 392. Her name and the hospital she is at are not being released as a security precaution while Kuijer remains at large, Gavin said.
Police say Kuijer is considered armed and risky and his whereabouts remain unknown.
The van featured a prominent pink floral decal on the back window referencing missing person Ashley Simpson and "Missing Women of Canada", but Gavin speculated that the sticker might have been removed.
Police said he is believed to be armed and unsafe.
He urged Kuijer to turn himself in peacefully. They advised the public not to approach him if they see him and to call 911 instead.
He is described as white with a thin build, trimmed beard and longer dark hair.
Kuijer was last seen leaving the bank wearing a black toque, brown leather waist-length coat, dark trousers, an orange hoodie and boots.