Remains of unidentified woman found along Red River in Winnipeg

Police say the victim was average height, had hair dyed dark, double-pierced ears and a caesarean section scar. 

Police are appealing to the public to try and help identify partial human remains found along the Red River north of Winnipeg’s downtown over the weekend. 

The partial remains of a young woman were found Saturday afternoon on a riverbank close to a walking and cycling path.

Police say the remains are those of a woman of unknown ethnicity who is believed to have been older than 20. 

“We need help in identifying this female with any information,” Sgt. Wade McDonald said during a news conference Tuesday. 

Little is known about the victim, but police believe she was of average height with a slight build, and had hair dyed dark, double-pierced ears and a caesarean section scar. 

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The woman also had no upper or lower teeth, police said, adding that investigators believe the teeth were missing before her death. 

It isn’t know whether she wore dentures, McDonald said. 

Police said that at this point, there is no indication of a link to any other recent death in the city.

“We are looking at this as a stand-alone event,” McDonald said. “We have no information or nothing to suggest this link to any other investigation.”

The partial remains of Rebecca Contois were found last spring in a garbage bin. Police then searched a Winnipeg landfill in June and found more remains of Contois. 

Police have said they believe the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran are in another landfill north of Winnipeg, but their bodies have not been found. 

Jeremy Skibicki has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Contois, Harris and Myran, as well as an unidentified woman Indigenous leaders have named Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, or Buffalo Woman. Police have also not located her remains. 

Police said DNA testing will be an “important piece of the puzzle” in helping them identify the woman whose remains were found Saturday. They are asking the public for any information.

They are also asking cyclists who have cameras on their bikes to see whether they may have any relevant footage.

Police could not say when the woman died or how long it was before her remains were found. 

McDonald said it has been a detailed investigation so far, but wouldn’t comment on whether there were other locations investigators were searching. 

“We’ve been working on this since Saturday afternoon with very little sleep. A number of resources have been tied up in this investigation,” he said. “No stone has been left unturned on this.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 18, 2023

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