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