When his 13-year-old son came home late from school last week, John Morrissette figured he had just gone on "one of his walks."
It wasn't until the next day that Morrissette found out his intellectually disabled boy, Jean-Micheal, had been found in a Winnipeg garbage bin as temperatures dipped to -15 C.
Morrissette said his son had been assaulted by two men, thrown in the Dumpster and left to freeze. He was found a few hours later by a woman who let him out.
"I was very angry with the guys who would do this to my son," Morrissette said in an interview Thursday. "You can see he's a harmless child. He doesn't talk much. He keeps to himself and two men have hurt him."
The young teenager wasn't seriously hurt, but Morrissette said he's not letting him walk home alone anymore. The father's faith in humanity is a little shaken.
"Are we that wrecked of a society that we don't care about our children, no matter what capabilities they have? That we can't help them? We can't protect them?"
The family contacted police, who are investigating. Morrissette said he cannot believe there are people out there who would pick on a young boy simply walking home from school.
He's only been able to get bits and pieces of what happened from Jean-Micheal, who is "too scared to talk about it."
Nicole Langlois, who works nearby, told CTV Winnipeg that she heard faint cries for help as she walked past the large garbage container, but couldn't pinpoint where they were coming from. A gut feeling made her return a few hours later and she found the boy sleeping and covered with garbage.
"All he kept saying was, 'Help. They pushed me in here,"' Langlois said. "I kept trying to talk to him and ask him who and he didn't talk back to me."
As soon as she helped him out, he ran away and headed for home a few blocks away.
Words can't describe how grateful the family is to Langlois, Morrissette said.
"She's my son's angel," he said. "I thank her every day."
Jean-Micheal can't describe who did this to him, Morrissette said. The family is appealing to anyone who might have seen anything to come forward.
"You don't jump a kid in daylight and nobody see it," he said. "My son can't identify them. But somebody can ....
"Be my son's voice, somebody."