Devastated families want serial killer’s victims found, but police say landfill search no longer feasible ‘I’ll go look for my granddaughter… they have to start looking’

Winnipeg police believe the bodies of three Indigenous women suspected to have been murdered by an alleged serial killer are in the same landfill where another victim’s remains were found.

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Winnipeg police believe the bodies of three Indigenous women suspected to have been murdered by an alleged serial killer are in the same landfill where another victim’s remains were found.

Relatives of Marcedes Myran, 26, fear her body will never be recovered unless police reconsider and search the Brady Road landfill for the missing victims.

“We’d like them to find her body,” said Donna Bartlett, Myran’s grandmother, after wiping tears from eyes during an interview Friday. “Why won’t they search the landfill? I’ll go look. I’ll go look for my granddaughter.

“They cannot just leave it like that. They have to start looking.”

Bartlett said police told her they may never find her granddaughter’s body when they visited her Winnipeg home with the devastating news about Myran and the other women Thursday.

Myran’s family has discussed a funeral service and vigil for her, but are unsure what to do next.

“We don’t know how to go about it because we don’t have her body,” said Bartlett, while other relatives at her home indicated they cannot have closure until Myran is returned to them.

Police Chief Danny Smyth doesn’t foresee another search of the landfill on the city’s southern limits.

“We believe that it’s likely the remains of these other victims are in the landfill, we just have no ability to know where that is, and where to commence a search,” he told reporters. “It is not a feasible operation.”

Police wouldn’t know where to begin looking, he noted.

“The reality is, is we’re talking about a 50-plus acre site that’s got layers and layers of refuse,” said Smyth. “We are not in a position to search the whole site.”

Cambria Harris, the daughter of victim Morgan Harris, disagrees with the decision. At a Thursday night vigil, she said it’s not fair to the families if the landfill isn’t searched.

Jeremy Skibicki, 35, is accused of killing Myran, Harris, 39, Rebecca Contois, 24, and a fourth woman who hasn’t been identified but is believed to be in her mid-20s.

Charged with four counts of first-degree murder, he made his first court appearance on the three new counts Friday.

Prosecutors filed a direct indictment against him to send the case to trial without a preliminary hearing. No trial dates have been set.

Skibicki intends to plead not guilty to the charges, said his lawyer, Leonard Tailleur, who opposed the move to direct indictment.

He said it deprived his client of the opportunity to test the evidence against him.


Wearing a grey T-shirt and sweatpants, Skibicki’s head was shaved and he had a long grey beard and moustache while he was led shackled and handcuffed into the court, just metres from more than a half-dozen of Contois’ family members in the gallery.

He stood in a prisoner’s box while a Court of King’s Bench clerk read a four-count indictment. He said “correct” when he was asked to confirm his identity.

Skibicki, who hasn’t applied for bail, was remanded in custody.

In a written statement, Contois’ relatives said they have experienced “paralyzing grief” and “pure devastation.”

“I don’t think we have ever cried buckets of tears, painful wake-you-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night anxiety, a type of grief never experienced before, deep, deep sadness,” the family wrote. “We also continue to think of the other families. Our deepest condolences to them.”

The serial murder investigation began when Contois’ partial remains were found in a garbage bin near an Edison Avenue apartment block May 16.

Police arrested Skibicki two days later, and said they believed there were more victims.

Smyth said investigators caught a break and were able to isolate a section of the landfill within hours of finding Contois’ remains in the bin.

“We don’t have that luxury with these other victims,” he said.

Further remains belonging to Contois were discovered June 14 while a 10-member team searched the landfill.

The officers wore respirators, methane-detection equipment and other protective gear due to hazards that made the effort dangerous and challenging.

The other slayings occurred between six and eight months ago, police believe.

Too much time has elapsed and there isn’t any amount of resources that could do a thorough-enough search of the landfill to do a full recovery, said Smyth.

Police believe the unidentified woman was killed on or about March 15, followed by Harris around May 1 and Myran on or about May 4.

In a bid to identify the unknown victim, police released photos of a reversible Baby Phat-label jacket that is similar to the one she is believed to have worn.

After police charged Skibicki in three more killings, a spotlight was again cast on posts on his social media accounts, which contained far-right views, including references to the white genocide conspiracy theory and antisemitic content.

The Southern Chiefs’ Organization said he should be charged with hate crimes against Indigenous women.

Smyth previously said he doesn’t know if the women were targeted because they were Indigenous.

Myran’s family and a person who knew Skibicki believe vulnerable women in the inner city were being preyed upon.

“I don’t want him ever out again, ever,” Bartlett said.

The person who knew Skibicki in recent years said the unemployed man would visit homeless shelters and soup kitchens to get food or clothing and access to Wi-Fi.

Winnipegger Darryl Contois often meets vulnerable people in the city’s core through his Evelyn Memorial Search Team and outreach work.

“They didn’t deserve this. None of them did.”–Darryl Contois

Contois, who knew Rebecca but was not directly related to her, helped search for her and others after they were reported missing.

Contois said he saw Skibicki a few times, including once at a warming shelter on the Disraeli Freeway, during his visits to the downtown area.

“He was kind of aggressive to some women on Main Street,” said Contois.

Contois was helping to keep a sacred fire burning in an empty lot on Selkirk Avenue, east of McGregor Street.

“They didn’t deserve this,” he said of the victims. “None of them did.”

with files from Malak Abas and Dean Pritchard

Twitter: @chriskitching

Chris Kitching

As a general assignment reporter, Chris covers a little bit of everything for the Free Press.


Updated on Friday, December 2, 2022 6:50 PM CST: fixes pullquote formatting

Updated on Friday, December 2, 2022 7:00 PM CST: Adds quotes from family, police, background.

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