Second-degree murder charge laid in death of Cassidy Bernard

Police say the death of 22-year-old Cassidy Bernard is being treated as suspicious. (Red Dress Protest/Facebook)

More than a year after a 22-year-old Cape Breton woman was found dead in her home on the We'koqma'q First Nation, police have charged Cassidy Bernard's ex-boyfriend with second-degree murder.

The Mi'kmaq woman's death prompted an outpouring of grief and anger from the Indigenous community, which has staged a series of protests and offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

The RCMP held a news conference today at the local community hall to announce Austin Isadore had been charged with second-degree murder and two counts of abandoning a child.

When police found Bernard's body on Oct. 24, 2018, her twin girls,only five months old, were found in a crib next to her, suffering from dehydration.

In April of this year, two of Bernard's sisters and a cousin met briefly with Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and other members of the legislature to draw attention to the case.

And in November 2018, hundreds of marchers blocked the Canso Causeway connecting Cape Breton to the mainland to raise awareness about issues relating to murdered and missing Indigenous women.