One of Manitoba’s grand chiefs says RCMP’s response to a new witness in the Jennifer Catcheway case is a step in the right direction.
In 2008, 17-year-old Catcheway disappeared and her family has been searching for her ever since.
- New witness comes forward in Jennifer Catcheway case
- Jennifer Catcheway’s family searching landfill and Dakota Tipi yards
On the week of Oct. 25, the Catcheway family got a tip from a member of the Dakota Tipi First Nation and a witness came forward to RCMP to give a statement.
MKO Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson said RCMP originally refused to take the statement, telling the person they would have to speak to the officers directly involved in the case.
But, she said, officers called the witness back shortly after and took the statement.
“I think the significance of that is the family was being told if you find one witness that places her there then we will do a search and the investigation will lead into this community. And that is the hope that they were carrying,” she said.
North Wilson indicated that RCMP did the right thing by calling the witness back, because families of murdered and missing indigenous girls and women often feel dismissed by police.
She spent Friday with the Catcheways as they searched Dakota Tipi First Nation and she says the family was told if they come back they’ll need a search warrant.
“I can understand a little of the caution the chief had but at the same time, it was hard to try and understand why anybody would want to stop the search of a family member,” she said.
North Wilson said she hopes police will be next to search the area.