News source from CTV News
A celebration of life is being planned for a 25-year-old mother of two found dead nearly a year ago on a highway in Sagkeeng First Nation in what police say was likely a hit-and-run.
Investigators believe Kayla Arkinson was struck by a vehicle on June 23, 2018, and left lying on the road. She was then hit by a second vehicle whose driver stopped and reported the incident to police at around 3:55 a.m.
No arrests have been made and the RCMP continues to actively investigate the death.
Kayla’s mother, Darlene Arkinson, told CTV News the young mother of two had been out at a couple of graduation parties being held nearby that night.
“We all went out to my cousin’s, but I came home early,” Darlene said. “And then all of a sudden the RCMP are knocking at my door, six in the morning, pronouncing my daughter dead.”
Darlene said Kayla was found close to home — less than 400 metres from her door.
“I figured she was walking home because she wanted to make me a birthday dinner,” said Darlene, whose birthday fell on the day Kayla died.
“I miss her goofiness,” Darlene said, describing her daughter as someone who “liked laughing and joking around and she liked to tease.”
“She had a good personality on her,” she said.
A celebration for Kayla
On June 22, nearly a year to the day Kayla died, a memorial celebration will be held in Sagkeeng.
An uncle who is organizing the event said it will include a BBQ, swimming and bouncy castles for kids and other activities.
Darlene said it’s what Kayla would have wanted.
“She’s that type of person that would try and celebrate things, try something different and new. She loved her BBQs,” she said.
Tragedy strikes a second time
Kayla’s death wasn’t the first tragic loss for the family. Darlene said Kayla’s brother Tyler Arkinson went missing in 2010 at age 14.
“He went to a hockey game and he turned around and followed his friends to a party. And he never returned back.”
Darlene said Tyler’s body was found later that year, and she spent years trying to get over his death, only to lose Kayla.
“Hopefully at least one of my kids will get justice,” she told CTV News.
With regard to the investigation into Kayla’s death, RCMP Const. Julie Courchene said in an email to CTV News, “We continue to urge the public to report any information that they may have on this tragic incident.”
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