WPS Investigates First Homicide of 2016 – Sister Act Cited in Senseless Killing

WPS Spokesman Constable Eric Holley - Photo JGJ
WPS Spokesman Constable Eric Hofley – Photo JGJ

The Winnipeg Police Service Homicide Unit has laid charges in the first murder of 2016.

On January 12, 2016, shortly before 6:00 p.m., EMS personnel were dispatched to the 500 block of William Ave regarding a report of a stabbing.

On arrival, two adult female victims were located suffering from serious injuries as a result of an apparent stabbing.  Both women were transported to hospital in critical condition, however, one of the women later succumbed to her injuries.  The second woman has since been upgraded to stable condition.

The deceased woman has been identified as Cynthia Marie French (35) of Winnipeg.

Members of the Homicide Unit investigated and jointly charged sisters, Candice Nora Nepinak (31) and Vanessa Louise Nepinak (35), both of Winnipeg, with 2nd degree murder and attempt murder.

Police indicate the victims returned home to their residence in the 500 block of William Ave earlier in the afternoon to discover Vanessa Nepinak in the deceased’s room.  Nepinak was subsequently forced from the residence.

Within an hour, Vanessa Nepinak returned to the residence with her sister Candice at which time they proceeded to stab both victims in the upper body.  The deceased’s sister managed to escape and found her way to a payphone where she called police.

After leaving the residence, the suspects located the deceased’s sister at the payphone and proceeded to attack and assault her a second time.

Police arrested Vanessa Nepinak at the scene and arrested her sister Candice in the 400 block of Pacific Ave a short time later.

WPS spokesman Constable Eric Hofley indicated the surviving victim was not only traumatized by witnessing her sister’s death but was repeatedly assaulted when she made the 911 call.

“I can’t imagine how traumatic the initial and subsequent incidents must have been for her,” he said.

Hofley indicated both accused killers were detained in custody.

Cynthia French is the first reported homicide victim in Winnipeg in 2016.

Last year, the WPS investigated a total of 23 homicides and solved all but two killings.  (Solvency rate 91%)

Of the 23 victims in 2015, seven (7) died as a result of edged weapon attacks or stabbings.

The first killing of 2015 occurred on January 23rd.

The WPS Homicide Unit investigated two (2) homicides during the month of January in 2015.


Vanessa & Candice Nepinak are sisters to Tanya Nepinak (31).

Police believe Tanya Nepinak, 31, was killed in Winnipeg on Sept. 13, 2011 — the same date she was reported missing.  Serial killer Shawn Lamb was originally charged with her murder but the charges were stayed in a plea bargain in favour of guilty pleas to the murders of Carolyn Sinclair and Lorna Blacksmith.

Tanya Nepinak’s body has not been recovered.

The Police Insider - 1st Murder 2015
The Police Insider – 1st Murder 2015

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