Two grieving moms of homicide victims are making an emotional plea for help in solving the case from 2021. The bodies of a man and woman were found in the ashes of a house fire on September 9, 2021.

The incident took place on Northlands Denesuline First Nation, claiming the life of Brent Denechezhe, 31, and Leona Tssessaze, 24. The RCMP declared their deaths a homicide.

The Manitoba RCMP issued a press release on Tuesday, with interviews with the two mothers who "could not understand what happened to their children, why anyone would want them hurt, but most of all, they did not know what they were supposed to do next."

“I struggle with my grief,” says Brent's mom, Veronique. “There are too many questions. What happened? Did he feel pain? Did they try to save themselves? If I was there, would I have made a difference?”

She was working outside the community when her son died, and now she cannot see herself living there again, the press release says.

“Whoever did this to Brent and Leona, whoever killed my son, is still there, still lives there. I can’t be there and unknowingly wish the person who killed my baby a nice day.”

Leona's mom, Ellen, says the unknowns surrounding the case also make it hard to properly grieve her daughter.

“All I can do is remember her,” says Ellen. “She was so kind and helpful. Leona was of this community – she loved to be outdoors camping, fishing and snowmobiling. She was also a really good cook and liked to bake. What I miss most is lying beside her on her bed relaxing and just talking with her.”

For Ellen, working and keeping busy has helped her cope, as well as her three other children. “My children keep me going,” she said. “My children are my strength.”

Ellen says that the children in the family have also been heavily impacted. She says that Leona's two-year-old brother looks at her picture, not knowing why Leona doesn’t come home. Her four-year-old nephew still won’t talk about Leona, and her 12-year-old sister spends a lot of time alone, trying to not let her mother know she is crying.

“I don’t know why this had to happen,” says Ellen in disbelief. “I just keep wondering why. Whoever did this needs to come forward. Please come forward. If anyone knows anything, please help us. Please help our families. Speak up for Leona and Brent.”

Brent had two children, and Veronique struggles to help them understand their father is gone.

“His girls meant the world to him,” Veronique said. “My son was a great father. How do we tell his girls he’s gone? How do we explain that this man who loved sports, who was a quiet man who wouldn’t stop talking once you got to know him, that he is no longer going to be here to wrap them in his arms? What happens when they find out that someone made the choice to take him away from them? What happens when they realize someone in their community killed their dad and nobody has said anything?”

For both Ellen and Veronique the thought that someone in the community is capable of taking a life and is still at large is a frightening one. They do not want any other family to live their nightmare.

“Please come forward,” says Ellen, very quietly, with her eyes cast downward. “For Leona. For Brent. For us. For the community. Someone come forward.”

RCMP Major Crime Services investigators are actively investigating the homicide of Brent and Leona and are asking anyone with information to please call the RCMP tip line at 431-489-8551, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or secure tip online at