An autopsy is being conducted to determine exactly how an 11-year-old girl, Teresa Robinson, died on a northern Manitoba First Nation.

Some speculate she's the victim of an animal mauling.

Additional RCMP investigators are in the Garden Hill First Nation where it happened, working on the case.

While waiting for answers, people gathered to honour her with an emotional candle-light vigil in the community Tuesday evening.

Band Councillor Elsie Wood said the vigil helped to strengthen and comfort them all.

"It was a very emotional event. We ended up joined together and prayed and let all our emotions out which helped," she said.

Wood said Teresa's family and friends are clearly heartbroken.

Especially one of the girl’s best friends, who found a bracelet of Teresa's, that helped trigger the search for her.

Band leaders said Robinson went missing on May 5, but RCMP said officers weren't notified until May 11.

The timeline is now part of the ongoing investigation into how the little girl ended up dead in a wooded area after leaving a birthday party.

Band leaders initially believed an animal may have mauled her to death, but RCMP did not rule out homicide Wednesday, but wouldn't elaborate.

"This is a very difficult investigation involving that of a child and again we are doing everything we can with respect to covering all angles," said Chief Supt. Scott Kolody.

Band leaders said they're receiving support from all over the country and appreciate it, and ask for more prayers as Teresa's family commemorate her again Thursday, which would've been the girl's 12th birthday.