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UCF #104200151

Chatting With Strangers Ended Nicole Daniels Life


Nicole Daniels

Nicole Daniels

Winnipeg, Manitoba — First, she was gossiping on the phone, likely on a chat line with strangers, her mother recalls. Then her stepfather watched her climb into a truck and take off into the night.

Within 14 hours, the 16-year-old Nicole Daniels was discovered dead in a Transcona snowbank after freezing to death. Daniels was bruised and had large amounts of alcohol in her system from an unknown source.

On April 1, 2009, Nicole was found face-down in the snow behind an Enterprise car rental outlet on Regent Avenue.

Nicole Daniels had bruises and cuts on her forehead, nose, wrist and finger. She also had a bruise on the left side of her head.

"How the hell could she get so drunk?" asked Frances Daniels, Nicole's mother.

Daniels said she wants to know how she ended up in a parking lot about 1.5 kilometres from where the family lives, like someone "kicked her out of the car after they used her."

Daniels said her daughter spent most of her time by herself listening to music in her room, but she sometimes went on a local chat line to make friends.

"She never went out," she said. "She didn't even go out with the girls to the mall and stuff like that. She was in her room."

Once before, she'd returned home drunk, with her pants unbuttoned, boots slipping off and jacket open.

Nicole had struggled with alcohol and drugs, and had previously attempted suicide, said the autopsy report obtained by the Free Press.

Police told the family officers questioned a man who spent part of the evening with Nicole but he was not criminally charged, Daniels said.

"I'm just wondering how she could get so damned juiced that she would fall, pass out, in behind a car place," Daniels said.

The autopsy report documents 11 cuts and bruises on various parts of Nicole Daniels's body, including her face, arms, wrists, legs and inner thigh. The colour of the bruises ranged from red to purple to yellow or brown.

Daniels's aunt wants to know why no charges were laid in relation to supplying alcohol to a minor. "Where is a 16-year-old going to get alcohol? She didn’t have a job," Winning said. "She didn't have that kind of money to put that much alcohol in her system herself; someone supplied her with all that alcohol."

Her mother believes there is someone who knows more about her daughter's death.

"These girls don't do that to themselves, put themselves in a ditch with their face down," she said.

She said police reviewed phone records to find people her daughter spoke to. "They named a number of men, older men, like my age.

"They were in the Transcona area, one was even on Regent, probably married," she said.

Daniels said she believes that man may have taken her daughter to the parking lot to have sex, and then dumped her there.

"There are a bunch of perverts on that chat line that are after young girls, underage girls, especially native girls, is what I think," she said.

Police told the family officers questioned a man who spent part of the evening with Nicole but he was not criminally charged, Daniels said.

"The police investigation and the autopsy into her death was determined to not be a murder. As a result, no charges were laid as there was no evidence of an offence," an email from a Winnipeg Police Service spokesperson stated. "There was no evidence of sexual assault nor supplying liquor to a minor and hence no charges. A thorough investigation was completed."

But Daniels said the task force needs to focus on cases like that of her daughter.

"Look at all these innocent little girls that are dying," she said.

"There's no one accountable for that at all. Drunk enough to go behind a real dark building that you can't even see without a flashlight and then knock herself out, give herself a bump on the head and a bunch of scrapes on her hands and knees?"

The autopsy report said Nicole's blouse was unbuttoned and her jacket was off when she was discovered in the snowbank.

The report attributes this to "paradoxical undressing," where people suffering from hypothermia begin to remove their clothing.

The autopsy report also noted Daniels may have been under the influence of sedatives.

Jenny Baysden

Jenny Baysden

See more Case Files contributed by Jenny Baysden.

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