TISDALE, Sask. — A relative of a woman and three children murdered in Saskatchewan says their killer took photos of the bodies and sent them to the children’s biological father before taking his own life.
Tim Funk, a cousin of Latasha Gosling, said the killer was the 27-year-old woman’s boyfriend and that he was emotionally abusive, controlling and jealous.
Gosling was separated from her husband, but not officially divorced, and had been with the new boyfriend for the last couple of years, Funk said.
The husband often went to visit his three kids: Jenika 8, Landen, 7, and Janayah, 4. They had been living most recently with Gosling and the boyfriend in a rented mobile home in the town of Tisdale, northeast of Saskatoon.
The boyfriend “didn’t like it at all” when the husband came around, Funk said.
On Tuesday, the husband received the gruesome photos in a text sent to his cellphone, Funk said. It was the day before the husband’s birthday.
“He sent them to him as a birthday gift.”
Funk said the husband then called Mounties, who found the bodies early Wednesday in the mobile home.
RCMP have confirmed that officers received a call from a family member around supper-time Tuesday, saying the woman and children hadn’t been heard from all day and couldn’t be reached.
They then obtained a search warrant for the trailer and tracked a suspect to a home 130 kilometres away in Prince Albert.
Police said the man had taken a six-month-old baby with him from the trailer. The suspect had killed himself, but the infant was unharmed. The baby is the child of the boyfriend and Gosling, Funk said.
Funk has set up a page on the fundraising website gofundme.com to collect money for funerals and the surviving infant. It had raised $38,000 as of Thursday afternoon.
Funk struggles to describe what his family is going through.
“None of it makes any sense.”
He describes Gosling as a proud mother who would often drive her two daughters to dance recitals or take them to swimming lessons.
Gosling’s sister, Laura Gross, wrote on Facebook about how the three kids would jump on a trampoline and play on a swing set at their grandparents’ home.
Landen loved to wrestle with his uncle and sit on the couch playing video games, she said. Jenika was grown up for her age and always wanted to look after cousins and change the littlest one’s diapers.
“Janayah, you were my little chipmunk,” said Gross. “Every time you talked, you sounded like one. I loved you for that.”
— With files from Chris Purdy in Edmonton