Heartbroken father desperate to find daughter Search continues for St. Theresa Point resident amid ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls
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Albert Shingoose has been scouring streets in Winnipeg’s core for the past three weeks in a desperate bid to find his missing daughter or any shred of evidence she’s OK.
On Wednesday, the father issued a plea for help in locating Ashlee Shingoose — 10 months after the last confirmed sighting of his daughter.
“My wife is worried about her daughter, and also me,” he said before a search involving about 20 people in the city’s Spence neighbourhood. “Her sisters want to know where (she) is. We’d like to find her. Please, anyone. Call us, let us know where she is.”
City police said Ashlee, 31, was last seen in the area of Henry Avenue and Main Street on March 11, 2022.
The St. Theresa Point First Nation resident was reported missing on Dec. 7, said police.
Albert, who travelled to Winnipeg from the remote northern community earlier this month, was joined Wednesday by St. Theresa Point residents, Bear Clan Patrol members and volunteers.
On a stretch of Sargent Avenue west of Balmoral Street, he handed out flyers bearing his daughter’s name and photo while chasing yet another unconfirmed tip.
Moments earlier, a man informed Bear Clan Patrol members he may have seen a similar-looking woman in the area about three days prior.
As he approached people on a sidewalk, Albert urged them to keep an eye out for his daughter and to contact police or the Bear Clan Patrol if they know where she is.
He’s hoping she will see one of the hundreds of flyers that have been handed out or stapled or taped to posts along streets and in back lanes.
The latest search focused on an area around McMicken Avenue following an unconfirmed tip received earlier this week.
Ashlee’s parents and one of her sisters have given DNA samples to police in case she is found and there is a need to confirm her identity, her father previously confirmed to the Free Press.
The ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls has heightened in Manitoba since Winnipeg police announced in December an alleged serial killer is accused of murdering four Indigenous women.
Amid speculation on social media, St. Theresa Point’s justice director, Steven Little, said there’s no indication Ashlee’s disappearance is linked to other police investigations.
Albert told the Free Press earlier this month he has received no indication his daughter’s disappearance is more than a missing persons case.
“We’re just hoping she’s OK,” said Little, who is co-ordinating searches involving volunteers from St. Theresa Point. “There’s nothing to indicate she’s not with us any more. She’s just not seen.
“It would be a big relief if she called her dad or her mom.”
“We’re just hoping she’s OK… It would be a big relief if she called her dad or her mom.”–Steven Little, St. Theresa Point’s justice director
Albert and fellow searchers have been checking homeless shelters, bus shacks, bars, drug houses and other places, said Little.
“Everywhere she could be walking. We’re showing people pictures and asking, ‘Have you seen this girl?’” he said.
The situation has been hard on Ashlee’s family. Her father becomes emotional when the search party regroups, said Little.
“He’s very heartbroken,” said Angela Klassen, Bear Clan Patrol’s missing persons liaison and co-ordinator of its West Broadway chapter. “His spirit is broken. He’s away from the rest of his family while searching for his daughter.”
More searches will take place over the coming weeks if Ashlee isn’t found before then.
Little said she arrived in Winnipeg about a year ago.
Her family in St. Theresa Point, about 500 kilometres northeast of the city, became concerned about her well-being when she stopped posting updates and communicating via Facebook.
“That was a red alarm for Mr. and Mrs. Shingoose,” said Little.
Another canvas was planned for the North End on Wednesday night, Klassen said.
“Because of Ashlee’s circumstances in life, we’re checking the areas she would frequent,” said Klassen.
A search took place in the downtown area Sunday and there are plans to look for her in other neighbourhoods.
“We plan on going forward until we’ve exhausted all areas,” Klassen said.
Ashlee Shingoose is five-foot-five and 115 pounds with a thin build, brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information about her disappearance is asked to call the Winnipeg Police Service’s missing persons unit at 204-986-6250 or the Bear Clan Patrol at 204-794-3568.
Kevin Walker, the interim executive director of the Bear Clan Patrol, said members were also carrying out a search in the North End for Latanya Tait, along with her family.
The 25-year-old woman from Sachigo Lake First Nation in northwestern Ontario was reported missing in Thunder Bay this month.
Police said she was seen on the 1400 block of Portage Avenue on the evening of Jan. 16.
As a general assignment reporter, Chris covers a little bit of everything for the Free Press.