‘She was such a sweet, loving girl’ Family grieving loss of Marcedes Myran
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As Marcedes Myran’s mother and grandmother looked at photos of her as a child and young woman, one thing stood out to them — a wide, bright smile.
It’s how they’re remembering the 26-year-old Winnipegger after police said they believe she was murdered by an alleged serial killer.
“She was always happy and smiling. She was a funny girl,” Pamela Myran, her mother, said Friday.
Myran’s grandmother, Donna Bartlett, used words such as “beautiful” and “kind-hearted” to describe Marcedes.
“She was such a sweet, loving girl,” she said. “She’ll never be forgotten.”
Myran is also survived by her seven-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter, who are in their grandmother’s care.
Bartlett informed the kids of their mother’s death after detectives visited her home Thursday to tell her the missing woman was killed.
“I’m not sure they comprehended it completely. They got the gist of it, they were crying,” she said.
Bartlett felt unwell and went to hospital after being given the news.
“How does anybody react? They break,” she said. “We are trying to keep it together, trying to come to terms, I guess.”
“I’m hurting and kind of lost,” Myran’s mother later said while relatives shared memories of Marcedes.
Police on Thursday charged Jeremy Skibicki, 35, with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Myran, Morgan Harris, 39, and an unidentified woman.
Their bodies have not been found. Police believe their remains are in the Brady Road landfill.
The same charge was laid against Skibicki in the death of Rebecca Contois, 24, after some of her remains were found in a garbage bin in North Kildonan in May.
Additional remains belonging to Contois, who lived in Winnipeg and was from O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi (Crane River) First Nation, were found in the landfill in June.
While they gathered at Bartlett’s Winnipeg home, Myran’s relatives noted the agony of not knowing where her body is or if it will ever be found, and not knowing what happened to her.
Born in Thompson, she was a member of Long Plain First Nation and grew up in Winnipeg.
Her loved ones said she struggled after losing custody of her children.
Trusting and vulnerable, she spent time unhoused and once had a spot in an addictions treatment centre rescinded through no fault of her own before she was scheduled to arrive, they said.
Bartlett said Myran loved her children and wanted to regain their custody.
“She would always give me a present to give to her kids,” said Bartlett.
Pamela Myran last saw her daughter when the young woman visited her North End home March 15.
Myran was her usual self — smiling, happy and joking, her mother said.
Police believe Myran was killed on or about May 4.
Bartlett said detectives couldn’t share much information with her because the investigation is ongoing.
She doesn’t know if Myran knew the other women.
“I feel for (their families) because of what happened. The same thing happened to them that happened to Marcedes,” said Bartlett. “It’s very terrible. I understand their hurt.”
Myran’s family said it’s time for change to end gender- and race-based violence.
More effort is needed to protect vulnerable Indigenous people and to educate the public, said her loved ones.
“We need them to know we are still people,” said Bartlett. “(Marcedes) was a person, a loving person — a mother, a daughter, a sister.”
Several Indigenous groups on Friday urged governments and other institutions to fulfill the 231 Calls for Justice outlined in the final report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released in 2019.
Federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller said Ottawa is failing in its responsibility to protect Indigenous women and girls, despite allocating money toward the issue.
Miller said the federal government will continue to work to address some of the systemic issues that put Indigenous women in vulnerable situations, including reforming the child-welfare system and opening more shelters.
— with files from The Canadian Press
As a general assignment reporter, Chris covers a little bit of everything for the Free Press.