ATHABASCA – Four people have now been charged with first-degree murder in relation to the April 2019 death of Nature Duperron.
Originally from Athabasca, Duperron, who was 25 at the time, was last seen in Edmonton at the beginning of that month and was reported missing April 15 by her mother who last spoke to her April 7. Her body was found near Hinton in May 2019.
On May 22, 2020, Alberta RCMP's Major Crimes Unit said they believe Duperron was killed somewhere between Edmonton and Hinton on April 7, 2019.
Between April 13 and May 22, 2020, four people have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery.
Duperron’s mother Cheryl Uchytil who still lives in Athabasca, said she did not know any of the four people arrested, but that her daughter was Facebook friends with one of the accused.
“If you look at his pictures, in one of them he’s wearing the same clothes as in the pictures from the RCMP,” Uchytil told the Athabasca Advocate.
She also confirmed two of the accused were the same as the suspects in photos released by RCMP in November 2019.
“It’s been hard waiting and waiting,” Uchytil said. “Hopefully now we can have proper closure.”
Uchytil said she has more questions than answers after the arrest, wondering why four people would murder her daughter whom she described as a “softie.”
“She was very generous with no mean streak,” Uchytil said. “She was very easy going, a little naive. She was just a softie.”
Uchytil is now preparing herself for the next steps in the case and bracing herself to hear about how her daughter was murdered.
“What she went through was horrifying,” she said. “When I viewed her body, it was unbelievable.”
Duperron is survived by her parents, siblings and three sons.
Tyra Muskego, a 21-year-old from Onion Lake, Sask., was arrested April 13 and released May 20 with conditions, including house arrest, and is scheduled to appear in court June 5.
Twenty-four-year-old Buddy Rae Underwood was arrested April 14 and remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in court June 5. Underwood has no fixed address.
Grayson Eashappie, who was already an inmate at the Drumheller Institution on an unrelated crime, is still in custody and scheduled to appear in court June 15. He was arrested April 24.
Kala Leigh Bajusz, a 31-year-old from Edmonton, was arrested May 22 after turning herself in and is awaiting a bail hearing as of press time.