A nation-wide manhunt is underway for an armed St. Catharines man in connection with the death of a boy. Justin Kuijer, a 43-year-old man, is the stepfather to Nathan Dumas, the seven-year-old boy who was found injured at home and later died in hospital on Saturday. Kuijer is also wanted after a woman was stabbed at a Royal Bank branch on Friday.
Niagara Regional Police looked for Kuijer throughout the weekend. Niagara Police spoke to the media on Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. urging the public not to approach this man because he is armed and dangerous.
The nation-wide warrant issued on Monday is for second degree murder in the case of the boy and attempted murder in connection with the stabbing of the bank employee, who is currently in hospital in stable condition.
Dumas was discovered by his mother in medical distress in St. Catharines on Friday. In a statement, police said that Dumas was transferred to hospital in critical condition from his home on Queenston Street. Although, the cause of death is still unknown, Niagara police told CBC that they consider Kuijer responsible for his death.
Police have confirmed to the public that Kuijer is the stepfather of the seven-year-old victim and had a professional relationship with the bank employee who was stabbed.
Whitney Dumas, the mother of the young boy, said that her ex-boyfriend (Kuijer) was a loving man and never showed any signs of aggression. On Friday morning, Dumas said she went out for breakfast with her friend, when she came back to the apartment where she and Kuijer were living, he had his bags packed and said he was leaving. Dumas said she wanted to break up with him because he refused to get help for his depression.
Dumas said both she and the paramedics performed CPR on the boy. Emergency Services did manage to get a steady pulse going, however the boy was put on life support when he arrived at the hospital. Just minutes after Kuijer allegedly killed his stepson, he made his way to RBC bank and reportedly stabbed a female employee.
Niagara police said that Kuijer fled in a grey 2009 Pontiac Montana van, licence plate BYTE392. The van also had a pink and white decal in the back of the window for missing woman – unrelated to the case.
Kuijer is described as a white male with a tall, thin build, with a beard and dark hair on the longer side. He wore a black tuque and coats, boots and possibly an orange sweater.
Anyone who sees the van, or has information, should call (905) 688 – 4111.
-Loredana Del Bello, Assistant News Editor