Tag Archives: Amber Tuccaro

Amber Tuccaro’s Unsolved Murder: Do You Recognize This Voice? (VIDEO)

Video: Do you recognize this voice?

CBC News, Posted: Jun 08, 2015

Man in recording may have answers to unsolved murder near Edmonton five years ago 

Unravelling the mysterious disappearance and unsolved murder of Amber Tuccaro could hinge on identifying a man whose voice was captured in a recording of her last phone conversation, new details of which her family has revealed to CBC News.

Police released 61 seconds of audio, but CBC News has learned that the full audio recording is 17 minutes in length, which corresponds almost directly to the amount of time it would take to drive from the motel where Tuccaro was staying to the site where her body was found two years later.

Amber Tuccaro, from the Mikisew Cree First Nation in Alberta vanished almost five years ago,

The 20-year-old mother from the Mikisew Cree First Nation in Alberta vanished almost five years ago, after getting into an unknown man’s vehicle in Nisku, near Edmonton. She was staying in the area for a few days after arriving from Fort McMurray with her infant son and a female friend.

Amber’s case is now in the hands of RCMP’s KARE, a unit based in Edmonton that is investigating unsolved homicides and cases of vulnerable missing persons. Her family has filed a complaint with RCMP’s Civilian Review and Complaints Commission after the RCMP admitted mishandling the initial investigation into her disappearance.

In 2012, the RCMP released a disturbing audio recording in which Tuccaro is heard talking to the driver, saying, “You better not be taking me anywhere I don’t want to go.”

The man insists he’s driving north, to “50th St.,” and while Tuccaro repeats what he’s telling her to the person on the other end of the phone, the call ends abruptly.

RCMP investigators believe that rather than driving Tuccaro north into the city, the man actually drove southeast along the rural roads of Leduc County.

Tootsie Tuccaro, Amber's mother, says someone must recognize who this man is. (CBC)

Tootsie Tuccaro, Amber’s mother, says someone must recognize who this man is. (CBC)

“I have a hard time listening to the recording,” says Amber’s mother, Tootsie Tuccaro. “My baby sounded so scared.”

RCMP now says this was the only time in Canadian history it released an audio recording to the public in a homicide investigation.

On Sept. 1, 2012, just four days after its release, horseback riders found Tuccaro’s partial skeletal remains in a farmer’s field in Leduc.

According to RCMP spokesperson Mary Schlosser, the discovery of Tuccaro’s remains so soon after the audio was released “is entirely coincidental.”

“There’s somebody out there that recognizes the voice. Has to be. His mom, his sister, his wife. And they’re not coming forward? Do they not have a conscience?” asks Tuccaro’s mother.

Source of call revealed

RCMP have refused to disclose how they got the recording or who Tuccaro was speaking to on her cellphone. But CBC News has learned that the call to Amber came from her brother, who was being held in the Edmonton Remand Centre at the time.

The centre began recording all outgoing calls by inmates earlier in 2010.

It’s unclear why it took two years after Tuccaro’s disappearance for the recording to be released, but her family tells CBC that several months before they were made aware of its existence, and before her remains were found, RCMP told them they believed Amber had been murdered.

“There’s a lot of things we don’t know. We have a lot of questions that we’re not going to get answers to because it’s an ongoing case, and even if the killer is found we’ll probably never hear some of the whole story,” says Tootsie Tuccaro.

The complaint filed with the RCMP’s Civilian Review and Complaints Commission alleges that Leduc RCMP’s mishandling of Tuccaro’s disappearance hindered the subsequent homicide investigation.

“Even when I reported her missing they asked me if she ever went missing before. ‘Oh, she’s probably out partying and she’s gonna come home, she’ll call,'” Tuccaro says she was told by Leduc RCMP.

Amber Tuccaro

Members of the group, Stolen Sisters and Brothers Awareness movement, put up posters like this one near Leduc., hoping to get answers in the growing number of cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

On Sept. 4, 2010, less than three weeks after Tuccaro’s disappearance, a media relations officer with Leduc RCMP was quoted in a local newspaper saying, “We don’t have any reason to believe she is any danger. We know that she is in the Edmonton area.”

According to RCMP spokesperson Mary Schlosser, “the accuracy of this media comment is now under CRCC review.”

Police also removed Tuccaro’s name from its list of missing persons and, without informing her family, destroyed her belongings, which had been left at the motel in Nisku.

“Let’s just say that’s not best practice and something that shouldn’t have happened but did,” says Schlosser. The RCMP later apologized to Tuccaro’s family.

Many unsolved cases in area

KARE investigates unsolved homicides and cases of vulnerable missing persons. And while the RCMP won’t say how many cases KARE is investigating, CBC’s Aboriginal Unit has found at least 15 unsolved cases of indigenous women who vanished or were murdered in and around the Edmonton area.

The partial remains of four of those women, including Amber Tuccaro, were all found within a few kilometres of each other in Leduc County.

The most recent discovery came this spring when the remains of Delores Brower were found on a rural property, more than 11 years after she disappeared.

“Maybe it`s the same guy that’s killing these other women that are found in Leduc and Nisku area. And how many more women, girls are going to be killed before he`s caught?

“Because these people that know are not coming forward and identifying him,” says Amber Tuccaro’s mother.

Asked whether RCMP investigators believe one person could be responsible for multiple murders, Schlosser says: “That’s a possibility that they certainly would be considering.”

It’s also a possibility that has people who live in the area on edge.

One woman contacted CBC News to say she’s convinced she recognizes the man’s voice heard on the audio recording released in Amber Tuccaro’s case.

“I know that voice. I’ve ridden with that voice before on several occasions. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s his voice,” said the woman, whose identity CBC has agreed not to reveal.

She says she reported his name to the RCMP three years ago.

CBC News interviewed two other women who say they’ve reported the same man to police, suspecting it’s his voice on the recording.

One of the women says she called the RCMP about her suspicions as recently as three months ago.

An RCMP investigator reached out to CBC News to say the Mounties have looked into the man, but have ruled him out as a person of interest in the Tuccaro investigation.

“They didn’t look very hard I don’t think,” says one of the women, still convinced she knows the identity of the man on the recording.

“I knew the voice like I know the back of my own hand.”

Tuccaro gravesite

Tootsie Tuccaro visits her daughter’s grave. (CBC)

Tootsie Tuccaro says she welcomes all tips in her daughter’s case, and is convinced that as more people hear the recording, someone will come forward with information that will lead to an arrest.

Until that happens, Tuccaro is maintaining a ritual, posting the audio recording on social media every day, imploring the public to help catch her daughter’s killer.

“I think about the voice all the time,” she says.

“It’s kind of messed up because Amber’s case is about the voice, the man’s voice, and now I’m Amber’s voice.”


Police Probe Possibility Lone Killer Dumping Bodies Outside Small Alberta Town

(Clockwise from the top left: Amber Tuccaro, Delores Browers, Katie Ballentyne and Edna Bernard)

(Clockwise from the top left: Amber Tuccaro, Delores Browers, Katie Ballentyne and Edna Bernard)

By Brandi Morin | APTN National News, posted May 1, 2015

The remains of four Indigenous women have been found over the last 13 years within a small rural area near Leduc, Alta. that police suspect could be a lone killer’s dumping ground.

Just last week the skull of Delores Browers was found after the Metis woman went missing over 10 years ago.

Delores Browers

Delores Browers

The discovery was made east of Leduc in a wooded area along Range Road 241 near Rolley View road.

Browers was 33 when she was last seen hitchhiking a ride in May of 2000.

Edna Bernard

Edna Bernard

Edna Bernard, 28, was found in 2002 in a wooded area on Range Road 245 just north of Rolley View road.

Katie Ballentyne

Katie Ballentyne

Katie Ballentyne, 40, was found in 2003 in a farmer’s field near Range Road 235, north of Township Road 500.

Amber Tuccaro

Amber Tuccaro

Amber Tuccaro, 20, was found in 2012 in a wooden area east of Leduc near Range Road 241 and Highway 623.

In the cases of Browers, Bernard and Ballentyne they worked as sex trade workers but Tuccaro did not.

Several media outlets have suggested the rural area where these bodies have been found could be a dumping ground. The RCMP have not denied this or the possibility that one person could be responsible for all four murders.

“Certainly it is a consideration and a possibility that’s being explored,” said Mary Schlosser, communications advisor for Edmonton RCMP. “These are high priority files and the investigators are working on them. ”She also said it’s possible that given the close proximity of where the remains were found, the RCMP may be conducting more searches for other bodies in the area.Browers’ family waited a long time for answers in her disappearance and issued a statement expressing relief to have finally learned what happened. “While we are saddened to have confirmation that Delores’ remains have been found, there is a sense of thankfulness as well. We loved Delores and are grateful to have some closure,” the statement read.

 “While we are grieving with some sense of relief, we know there are many families who have yet to find the answers they are seeking.”

Bernard’s family is still waiting for answers.

Bernard was found dead shortly after her body had been set on fire. She was the mother to six boys and struggled with an addiction to cocaine. Bernard also worked in the sex trade in Edmonton to support her habit.

Her sister Caroline Bernard remembers her as “the best sister anyone can have” and expressed sorrow for Delores’s family.

“That’s painful…I hope the other families that are mourning their loss- I hope they stay strong and remember the good things about their lost loved one,” said Caroline Bernard. “I hope they catch the bastard (who did it).”

Ballentyne was mother of four when reported missing in April 2003.

Ballentyne also struggled with a drug addiction and sold her body for money on the streets of Edmonton.

In July 2003 her badly decomposed body was found in a field in Leduc County.

Tuccaro, of Fort Chipewyan, was last seen getting into an unknown man’s vehicle during a visit to Edmonton in August 2010.

Tuccaro was also a mother to a 14-month-old son when she disappeared.

A group of horseback riders discovered her skull in September 2012.

No one has yet been charged in any of the four women’s deaths. Over the years there have been some leads and investigators have at times believe they came close to solving these crimes.

According to court documents, the RCMP at one time believed Bernard and Ballantyne were victims of the same killer.

In 2007, Thomas Svekla, of Edmonton was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of two Edmonton street workers. However, he was only convicted of second-degree murder in the death of one of them and is now serving a life sentence.

Syekla was also considered a suspect in several other homicide investigations including those of Bernard and Ballantyne.

In 2012, the RCMP released a cell phone recording of Tuccaro and an unidentified man who was in her company when she disappeared in the hopes that someone would recognize his voice.

Then in 2013, the RCMP put up giant billboards in Leduc featuring her image with the slogan “Have you heard the voice?” further hoping that it help them to find out what happened to her. The billboards have since been removed.

There are two common trends in the killings that apply to all four women: they were all Indigenous and they were all hitchhiking.

Hitchhiking is a common way to get around in a lot of Aboriginal communities, however, the RCMP said it’s considered high-risk behavior when done in an urban setting.

“One of the messages we are trying to get out is getting into a car with someone you don’t know is not a good idea. Hitchhiking is really high risk behaviour because it makes you vulnerable,” said Schlosser.

Julie Kaye, director of community engaged research and assistant professor of sociology at Kings University in Edmonton said this circumstance does arouse suspicion about the possibility of a serial killer on the loose.

“How can it not?” said Kaye.

After all, Canada has had serial killers before.

“When you see it’s not the first time that we’ve had serial killers in this way in Canada,” she said while referencing notorious B.C. murderer Robert Pickton who targeted a large amount of Indigenous women who worked in the sex trade.

However, she went on to say that regardless of whether or not a serial killer is involved there are broader questions to be addressed. That is, the long-standing issue of missing and murdered Indigenous Women in Canada and the targeting of Indigenous women for these types of crimes reflective of the broader pattern seen across the country.

“It’s horrific and another example of the disproportionate violence that Indigenous women face and especially Indigenous women involved in the sex industry,” said Kaye. “They’re not consenting to violence or harm just because they’re working in the sex industry.”

The tragedy of the loss of all of these women will not be forgotten until justice is served, if the Stolen Sisters and Brothers Awareness Movement (SSBAM) has anything to do with it.

The Edmonton based grassroots organization has been working with the victims’ families to provide support and to assist in raising awareness to help solve the murders.

“I think the fact that these were Indigenous women kind of verifies what we’ve thought all along,” said April Wiberg of SSBAM. “When women are targeted to be victims of violence there is a racial element involved… If they had not visibly been Aboriginal would they still be alive today?”