RCMP gathering 2,000 DNA samples in hopes of solving Manitoba girl’s murder

RCMP are collecting up to 2,000 DNA samples from men in a remote Manitoba First Nation in an effort to solve the murder of an 11-year-old girl.

See Full Article

Teresa Robinson never returned home after leaving a birthday party in May, 2015. Her lifeless body was found six days later.

The investigation has remained active ever since, but police have yet to arrest a suspect.

This week investigators began collecting DNA samples of 2,000 men living in Garden Hill First Nation, located about 650 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.

“What is being undertaken at that specific community right now is something unprecedented,” Sgt. Bert Paquet told CTV Winnipeg.

All DNA donations are voluntary and are being sought from men between the ages of 15 and 66. RCMP plan to make five trips to the isolated community to gather the samples.

The unorthodox investigate approach has sparked renewed hope for Teresa’s mother, who says her daughter’s death has shattered her sense of security in the tiny community.

"Don't trust anybody. Don't trust anybody around here, even friends because we don't know who did this. People probably won't even believe who that person is when it comes out,” Sandra Robinson told APTN.

Police say the massive DNA sweep comes after traditional investigative approaches were completed.

"Once we've exhausted all other avenues of investigation, our officers start thinking outside the box," Sgt. Paquet said. "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.

Band Councillor Larry Beardy is encouraging men in the community to step forward, and gave a blood sample himself.

Luke Taylor, whose son was beaten to death eight years ago in the community, has said he will also give a sample.

“Sad. I know how it feels -- the loss of a child,” he said.

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."

Teresa’s mother says she hopes the DNA collection brings about answers in the stalled case.

“A lot of people keep saying you gotta try and forgive that person,” Robinson said. “But I don’t know who that person is. I don’t know if I can do that.”

With a report from CTV Winnipeg



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • German radio station apologizes after host compares K-pop band BTS to coronavirus

    World News CBC News
    A German radio station apologized Friday for a host's comments comparing popular South Korean K-pop band BTS to the coronavirus, saying his choice of words had gone too far but was in no way meant to be "hurtful or racist. Source
  • WE Charity had multiple 'opening' ceremonies for Kenya school: former donor

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- A man who helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for WE Charity says he believes two different groups of donors were told they had raised the money for a school in Kenya. Reed Cowan testified before a parliamentary committee today where he said he discovered a plaque that had once borne his late son's name had been replaced with the name of another donor. Source
  • 400 escape, 25 dead after Haiti prison breakout: officials

    World News CTV News
    PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI -- Haitian authorities announced Friday that more than 400 inmates escaped and 25 people died in a prison breakout, making it the country's largest and deadliest one in a decade, with the prison director and a powerful gang leader among those killed. Source
  • B.C. prisoners asked for masks for months, didn't receive PPE until they tested positive for COVID-19, mom says

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- The mother of an inmate at a prison in B.C.'s Fraser Valley says her son and other prisoners have been asking for masks and other personal protective equipment since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but weren't given any until several people in their cohort had tested positive for the disease. Source
  • Johnson & Johnson's single-shot COVID-19 vaccine endorsed by U.S. advisers

    World News CBC News
    U.S. health advisers endorsed a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson on Friday, putting the nation on the cusp of adding an easier-to-use option to fight the pandemic. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to quickly follow the recommendation and make J&J's shot the third vaccine authorized for emergency use in the U.S. Source
  • Muslim woman targeted in racist attack says call to Edmonton police left her doubly traumatized

    Canada News CBC News
    A Black Muslim woman who was threatened and subjected to racial slurs at a south Edmonton LRT station says she has been doubly traumatized — by her assailant and city police. The woman, a student in her 20s who wears a hijab, says she remains terrified after the racially-motivated attack earlier this month. Source
  • Video shows officers posing in front of body; Vancouver police under investigation

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- A spokeswoman for Vancouver police says the conduct of two officers is under investigation after video footage emerged of the pair allegedly posing with a dead body at a popular beach. Const. Tania Visintin says the officers responded to calls about a deceased individual at Stanley Park's Third Beach, and waited for the coroner to arrive. Source
  • UN urges warring parties to halt fighting for vaccinations

    World News CTV News
    CAMEROON, CAMEROON -- The UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Friday demanding that all warring parties immediately institute a "sustained humanitarian pause" to enable the unhindered delivery of COVID-19 vaccines and the vaccination of millions of people in conflict areas. Source
  • Feds say Massachusetts man scammed 3 women out of $500,000

    World News CTV News
    BOSTON -- A Massachusetts man told women he met at online dating sites fantastic stories about being involved in explosions on foreign oil rigs and needing money to get out of a French jail to scam them out of more than $500,000, federal prosecutors said. Source
  • Black history must become part of Ontario’s curriculum to help fight systemic racism in schools, advocates say

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- An Ontario historian says Black history needs to become a mandatory part of the province’s curriculum instead of leaving it up to teachers to choose what kids will learn. Natasha Henry, the head of the Ontario Black History Society, told CTV News Toronto that her organization has been trying to push the province for decades to have Black history part of learning mandated in Ontario. Source