RCMP request thousands of DNA samples in Manitoba murder case

RCMP are asking men in a remote Manitoba First Nation to provide police with DNA samples in an effort to solve the murder of an 11-year-old girl.

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Teresa Robinson never returned home after leaving a birthday party in May, 2015. Her body was found days later, and the investigation has remained active ever since.

In a move that police say is unprecedented in the community, this week investigators began collecting DNA samples in Garden Hill First Nation, from up to 2,000 men between the ages of 15 and 66. All DNA samples are being provided on a voluntary basis.

"Once we've exhausted all other avenues of investigation, our officers start thinking outside the box," Sgt. Bert Paquet told CTV Winnipeg. "This was one of the steps that was considered."

He added that the DNA collection is one of several techniques used by officers assigned to the case.

"Our investigators have been, and will continue to, utilize all available resources and investigative techniques in order to solve this horrible crime and bring closure to the family and the community," Paquet said in a statement.

Police have not said how many men in the community have volunteered to provide a DNA sample, but they've said the response has been positive.

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson said the community is desperate for answers in Robinson's murder.

"Could there have been another way, perhaps," she said. "But the community is so desperate for answers that we have to support what they want to see."

She said Robinson's murder has left the community, located about 650 km northeast of Winnipeg, on edge.

With a report from CTV Winnipeg


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