Landfill search feasibility study expected in March


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A group studying the feasibility of searching active Winnipeg area landfills for human remains expects to complete its investigation before spring.

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A group studying the feasibility of searching active Winnipeg area landfills for human remains expects to complete its investigation before spring.

The Indigenous-led committee has decided to focus on the Prairie Green landfill north of the city, where police believe the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran are located.

Harris and Myran are two of four women (along with Rebecca Contois and an unidentified victim temporarily named Buffalo Woman by elders) police say are victims of accused serial killer Jeremy Skibicki. He faces four charges of first-degree murder.

“All efforts are being made to conduct the work in a timely and urgent manner… It is acknowledged that the Brady (Road) landfill may require its own feasibility study, however, the committee has agreed that its primary initial focus will be the Prairie Green landfill site,” the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said in a Tuesday release.

The AMC is working to secure federal funding for the study, but — with government support — expects it to be complete by March 31. The final report will include recommendations, budgets and timelines relating to a search and recovery effort, AMC said.

Premier Heather Stefanson has promised financial and technical support for the study.

The feasibility committee formed in December, after Winnipeg police said they would not search the privately owned Prairie Green for the remains of Harris and Myran.

Investigators believe the missing women’s remains were brought to the landfill by garbage trucks in May. They may now be buried beneath tonnes of packed clay, animal bones and dangerous debris, police said.

The feasibility committee consists of family members, Indigenous leaders, RCMP, Winnipeg police, and officials from the City of Winnipeg and province of Manitoba.

Forensic experts, including Dr. Emily Holland and Rocky Mountain Forensic Consulting are currently acting as advisers and will help develop the study’s final report.

Holland, a forensic anthropologist at Brandon University, previously participated in the law enforcement search of the pig farm in Port Coquitlam, B.C., owned by serial killer Robert Pickton.

In 2002, it became the site of the largest criminal investigation in Canada’s history. Pickton was charged with 26 murders, and later convicted of seven.

Winnipeg police recovered Contois’ partial remains at the Brady Road site in June. Protesters established a blockade at the south end landfill Dec. 18, calling for a further search.

The site reopened Jan. 6.

AMC said the committee will pursue additional federal funding for a separate feasibility study at the Brady Road landfill in the future.


Updated on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 12:10 PM CST: fixes typo

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