One year after Bobbie Lynn Moose's body was found in Thompson, police are making a public appeal for information, saying she may have been killed by someone with whom she was staying in the weeks before her death.
Moose, a 29-year-old mother of two from Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, was found dead near Nelson Road on Oct. 17, 2019. Her sister had dropped her off at the city's Walmart on Oct. 1, and police are still trying to piece together what happened to Moose in her last days.a
Manitoba RCMP Cpl. Morgan Page, who is leading the homicide investigation, said Moose's family described her as a trusting person who knew how to stick up for herself. She often went back and forth between her northern Manitoba home community and Thompson, and was believed to be staying with friends while in the city.
"Her sister said that Bobbie was always looking for somebody to love her. This trust in others, her ability to make friends quickly, and the need to be loved may have been seen as an opportunity by the killer. In fact, we believe that Bobbie knew and trusted the person or persons responsible, who ultimately killed her. Further, she may have been staying with the person or persons responsible for her death for a period of time before her body was located," Page said Monday.
"This is why community involvement in this homicide investigation is so important."
Police have not said how Moose died.
Investigators have conducted more than 300 interviews, talked to 1,500 people, and distributed pamphlets bearing Moose's photo to every residence in Thompson, asking for information. They've also put up billboards and circulated radio ads in both English and Cree in Thompson and surrounding communities.
"We have done, and continue to do, everything we can to find the person or persons responsible," Page said during a news conference.
"Every person is different, so every investigation is different. And because of Bobbie's situation and the transient nature that she kind of lived, we had to fan out to everybody. And, of course, every investigation is different, but there's somebody out there with a piece of the puzzle that can help us solve this, and we're just trying to find that person."
NCN Chief Marcel Moody said the lack of closure is particularly concerning, given the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women from northern Manitoba, and the large proportion of band members who are homeless or live transiently in Thompson or other parts of the province.
There are about 5,400 band members, about 40 per cent of whom live off-reserve. Moose was living on the reserve about 88 kilometres northwest of Thompson, but was spending a lot of time in the northern hub city, Moody said.
"It's really been devastating for the community because of what happened, and there's no closure for the family," the chief said. "There's a lot of cases that have gone cold. It's a concern for all of us."
In addition to her two children, Moose left behind two brothers, six sisters, and 18 nieces and nephews. Her family told police she was a kind, gentle person who took the time to make others feel special.
On Monday, RCMP shared touching details of Moose's personality and early life — an approach Moody said he appreciated, but he emphasized the need to solve the case.
"I think (the RCMP are) doing a lot better, I think they're more vigilant now because of the high-profile cases that have been portrayed in Manitoba. I think they're doing their best with the resources we have, but I mean, it's so concerning for us. You know, somebody should have seen Bobbie, but nobody's coming forward," Moody said.
RCMP are asking anyone with any information about Moose's case to call them at 204-677-6909.
Katie May reports on courts, crime and justice for the Free Press.