Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Police officially identify homicide victim

Missing woman in downward spiral since March: family

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Winnipeg police have officially identified a body found Saturday as 23-year-old Simone Sanderson.

Her body was found Saturday afternoon at 2:20 p.m. around Main Street and Burrows Avenue.

Police have concluded that Simone Sanderson’s death was a homicide, but won’t reveal any details of her autopsy.

"No further details will be released at this time," Patrol Sgt. Monica Stothers told reporters Wednesday.

Police will not reveal how Sanderson died, precisely where and in what circumstances she was found, how long she had been there, or whether they believe she died at that location.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 986-6508.

Sanderson's body was found Sunday afternoon in an alley near the intersection of Burrows Avenue and Main Street, Oliver Sanderson, Simone's grandfather, confirmed Monday.

Oliver, who raised his granddaughter since she was a baby, said she had been missing since Aug. 26. He said he and his wife were informed Sunday night her body had been found in the North End alley.

"My wife and I are very distressed. We believe she was murdered," Oliver said Monday from his home on the Crane River First Nation. "Apparently her body was covered up in leaves. There was clearly foul play involved. We are very heartbroken."

Oliver said his granddaughter had been in a downward spiral since March when she had been going through problems in her home life.

"She took comfort in drugs and going out a lot, too much," Oliver said. "She took comfort in things she shouldn't (have). She was on welfare but was planning to go to school and go to AA meetings. But we stopped hearing from her."

On Friday, Winnipeg police reported Sanderson was missing, and asked for the public's help in locating her. They said she had last been seen on Aug. 26 in the West Broadway area.

On Sunday afternoon, police closed off eastbound traffic on Burrows Avenue at Main Street for an undisclosed reason -- but area residents said a woman's body was found in the area.

Three police squad cars and the identification unit were on the scene. Investigators were seen searching for evidence and taking photographs in and around the area Sunday and Monday.

Police tape closed off the Taste of Europe Fine Foods & Delicatessen on Main Street and its adjacent parking lot.

A resident in a home on Magnus Avenue, whose yard faces the alley, said Sunday afternoon he heard a woman yelling that she had found a body.

"There had been a smell for about a week, but I figured it was just garbage. I didn't get too close cause I didn't want to see, but the woman said it was a woman's body," said the man, who gave his name as Eddie.

Police confirmed Monday a body had been found and the homicide unit had been called in. Officers and cadets were still on the scene Monday evening.

An autopsy will be performed.

Anyone with information is asked to call 986-6508.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 4, 2012 B1


Updated on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 11:17 AM CDT: Adds official ID given

September 5, 2012 at 1:01 PM: Adds that police have confirmed homicide

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