hamel-robertPolice are investigating the death of a 20-year-old Cree woman near Amos, but the nature of the incident remains unclear.

The body of Cindy Trapper Hamel-Robert was discovered at kilometre 82 of Route 109 near Saint-Dominique-du-Rosaire, in the early morning hours of September 5. Hamel-Robert had been a passenger travelling in a car with two friends. The driver of that car was Gordon Ruperthouse, 42.

“It appears that, for reasons unknown, Ms. Hamel opened the door and exited the moving vehicle,” said Sergeant Benoît Coutu of the Sûreté du Québec. “We don’t know the circumstances leading up to that moment, and our investigation is still ongoing.”

Police could not confirm whether or not any type of physical altercation occurred between Ruperthouse and Hamel-Roberts prior to her exiting the vehicle, but they do believe that the two engaged in a verbal disagreement.

Additionally, Ruperthouse did not stop the vehicle when Hamel-Robert fell out.

“He did not assist the woman and our investigation leads us to believe that there were suspicious events that occurred prior to the incident,” Coutu told the Nation.

Sûreté du Québec officers arrested Ruperthouse the next day on charges of driving under the influence, dangerous driving and failure to stop at the scene of a fatal accident. They would not reveal the identity of the car’s second passenger.

Hamel-Robert lived in Amos and was the daughter of Fred Robert, a member of the Washaw Sibi community, and Lyne Hamel. She also leaves behind siblings Christopher and Karolann.