The bruised and battered body of Serena McKay, age 19, was found on Sunday, April 23rd. Video showing her murder continues to be shared on Facebook, as two videos were live-streamed by her killers.
According to CBC News, the victim and her killers, two teenage girls, ages 16 and 17, all attended Sagkeeng Anicinabe High School. Serena, whose nickname was ‘Serenity,’ was supposed to graduate this year.
Serena was last seen by a family friend on Saturday evening, April 22nd. She was reported to be missing with the Powderview Royal Canadian Mounted Police on Sunday about 6 PM. RCMP officers received a call on Sunday about 8 PM of a body that had been found near a home in the First Nation.
Sagkeeng Anicinabe Principal Claude Guimond said that he believed drugs were involved in the attack. He said “After seeing what I saw on the video, you know what? There’s nobody in their right mind [that] would do something like that, unless they were extremely high on whatever and just totally, like, out of it.”
Some of Serena McKay’s classmates alerted the high school principal about the first video on Monday, April 24. He watched the video, believed that it was Serena, and reported it to the RCMP. The victim in that video was later confirmed to be Serena.
In the first video, which is extremely graphic, the victim can be heard saying “I’m sorry.” Then the video shows the victim’s head being stomped on by a heavy boot. It isn’t clear how many people are actually present but the two female suspects are clearly visible. One of the suspects was screaming that they didn’t want Serena to live.
One attacker can be heard telling the victim “If you send anyone after me I will kill you. I will f–king kill you myself.” Both suspects posed in bloody clothing in the second, shorter video.
RMCP have said that they are aware of the video and it is a part of their investigation. Sergeant Paul Manaigre said that “The fact that such violent footage is being shared by people on social media is shocking.” He also said “I can’t imagine what the family, the community is going through right now. This is a 19-year-old female; this is someone’s child, cousin, niece, sister. They’re in shock, they’re grieving over her loss and they’re trying to come to terms with it.”
A second video that hadn’t been seen before surfaced on a public Facebook post for several hours on Wednesday, April 26. In that video, the victim’s beaten and bloodied face was clearly visible.
Classmates expressed disbelief during a healing ceremony at school on Tuesday, April 25. Grief counselors have been made available.
The two teenagers involved in Serena’s homicide have been charged with second-degree murder. They were identified online though the videos, but their names are not being officially released because they are minors. They remain in custody,
Facebook was contacted immediately by the RCMP about the videos, and the initial copies have been removed. However, they continue to be shared via Facebook messenger. The school principal has urged all students not to share either video and to immediately delete them “out of respect for the victim and the family.”
The level of violence seen in these videos and others that have been live-streamed are incomprehensible to me. Recently, a Thai father live-streamed the shocking and violent murder of his 11-month-old daughter, when he hung her off the side of a six-story building. Also recently, in Ohio, a man named Steven Stephens randomly walked up to a 74-year-old man and shot him in the head as the man was walking home from Easter dinner with his family.
What’s truly dumbfounding about this whole thing is the number of people who watch these videos and fail to report them to law enforcement.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Serena McKay.