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Missing or murdered

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Lorraine Blacksmith (centre, left), mother of Lorna Blacksmith, comforts a family member during a march and vigil for murdered and missing women in Canada at the Manitoba legislature on June 26, 2012.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Enlarge Image

Lorraine Blacksmith (centre, left), mother of Lorna Blacksmith, comforts a family member during a march and vigil for murdered and missing women in Canada at the Manitoba legislature on June 26, 2012. Photo Store

There are 58 families in Manitoba waiting, with waning hope, for news about their missing loved one or word from police about charges related to her murder. Fifty-eight is the number of outstanding, unsolved cases of missing or murdered aboriginal women in Manitoba. The number is a moving target, with two or three new names added every year. Activists are frequently accused of inflating the problem, but aboriginal women are eight times more likely to be victims of violence.

The Winnipeg Free Press, with the help of research compiled by an Ottawa PhD candidate, has created a database of all 58 outstanding cases involving aboriginal teens and women in Manitoba. Here are some findings:

36: Number of unsolved murders

22: Number of outstanding missing women cases

67: Number of children, at a minimum, left motherless

26.8: Average age of missing or murdered women

3: Number who were killed or went missing on reserve

16, 8: Number involved in the sex trade; number who might have been

26: Number of women last seen in Winnipeg's inner city, or 44 per cent

OLDEST MURDER CASE: Jean Mocharski, a 43-year-old mother of seven found beaten and stabbed near the Alexander Docks in March 1961.

NEWEST MURDER CASE: Leah Anderson, a 15-year-old murdered in January 2013 in Gods Lake Narrows First Nation. Her body, badly mauled by dogs, was found on a busy walking path.

 -- source: Data compiled by the Winnipeg Free Press, crosschecked and supplemented by a database created by Ottawa researcher Maryanne Pearce, author of An Awkward Silence: Missing And Murdered Vulnerable Women And The Canadian Justice System, 2013


maryagnes.welch@freepress.mb.ca

MAP: Unsolved cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Manitoba

The number and nature of Manitoba’s unsolved cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women have always been difficult to pin down. With the help of research by Ottawa doctoral student Maryanne Pearce, the Free Press has compiled a detailed accounting.

Yellow markers in the map below indicate missing women; red markers indicate murdered women.

Click on any marker for more details on the case.  Use the + and - controls at left (or pinch on a touchscreen, or scroll on your mouse) to zoom in and out of the map, or click and drag on the map to move around.

 

If you cannot see the map above, or are having trouble using it, try viewing in a new window. View or export this map's source data in Google Docs.

Research by Mary Agnes Welch; map by Wendy Sawatzky.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 15, 2014 D3

History

Updated on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 11:55 AM CST: fixes typo

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