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Police release photos of suspected truck in Aboriginal man's hit-and-run death


FREDERICTON — Police have released pictures of a GMC pick-up truck suspected to have been involved in a hit-and-run death that has left a New Brunswick First Nation grieving and seeking justice.

RCMP Cpl. Jullie Rogers-Marsh says the investigation continues into a hit-and-run in Saint-Charles that took the life of 22-year-old Brady Francis of the Elsipogtog reserve.

Francis was struck and killed around 9:30 p.m. after he left a party on Feb. 24. RCMP have said they found a GMC truck logo at the scene.

"We are asking people to look closely at the pictures we've released in the event they may have seen the vehicle that day and can provide us with information on the vehicle and who was in it," Rogers-Marsh said Tuesday.

Many Elsipogtog residents are calling for criminal charges in the case, and have alluded to Aboriginal anger at the jury acquittals in the killings of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine on the Prairies.

Social media posts were circulating following the incident with pictures of Boushie, Fontaine and Francis side by side, and many were tweeting #justiceforbrady, echoing hashtags used after the recent Prairie verdicts.

About 40 community residents went to the alleged truck driver's house on the morning after the incident, but Francis's grandfather urged the crowd to disperse.

The pickup truck was seized by police on Feb. 25 and later returned to the owner.

"The truck is a grey 2003 GMC Sierra 4 X 4 pick-up truck, and it would have been travelling on the local roads around Richibucto on Saturday, February 24 between noon and 10 p.m.," Rogers-Marsh said Tuesday. 

"We're looking for basically a timeline of where the vehicle was prior to the incident and if anyone saw the vehicle around the Saint-Ignace, Saint-Charles and Saint-Louis-de-Kent area prior to the incident."

The truck has a camouflaged coloured wind deflector on the hood, camouflaged window deflectors over the driver and passenger side windows, a "Browning" decal over the front windshield, several camouflaged decals on the tailgate and there are also decals on the rear window.

Rogers-Marsh said police are working through their investigation and anyone with information is urged to contact the RCMP or Crime Stoppers.

Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press

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