Missing & Murdered: The Unsolved Cases of Indigenous Women and Girls
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Audrey Desjarlais was a mother, a residential school survivor and a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta.

About 15 years ago, in the early 2000’s Audrey left her family in Regina, Saskatchewan and relocated to Steinbach, Manitoba. 

Her daughter Barb Desjarlais says Audrey always called to check in but those calls stopped in 2011. The Desjarlais family hasn’t heard from her since.

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"It's so sad. Nobody even knew she was missing," Barb said.

"She just stopped calling. We never heard from her again.”

On April 19, 2015, Audrey’s daughter shared her picture and story with the CBC. Barb Desjarlais has suspicions that unidentified remains pulled from Winnipeg’s Red River in June 2012 are those of her mother.

The Jane Doe is described as wearing dentures, long dark hair, thin build, and about five feet five inches tall.

Barb says the description of Jane Doe is eerily close to her mother, including the dolphin necklace she was wearing.

“I am so sure this is my mom,” Barb said.

"I had a ring to that necklace. I lost it a long time ago, but that necklace, yeah, she would have had that necklace on."

At the time, the daughter wanted a DNA test done but the Winnipeg Police Service’s missing persons unit said not all of the details about the two women matched.

However on April 29, 2015, 10 days after CBC started probing into Audrey’s story, her daughter informed CBC that Regina Police collected her DNA.

"[At] 11:23 yesterday morning; I won't ever forget that," Barb told CBC.

In June, DNA tests confirmed the remains of Audrey — three years after her extremely decomposed body was found in the Red River. 

The Winnipeg Police Service say there is now an "open investigation" into the death of Audrey, 52.

That includes reviewing why police were told she was seen alive when her body was, in fact, stored away in a morgue and left unidentified as a "Jane Doe."

Do you have more information on any of these cases?

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CBC News continues to investigate missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada, looking at the unsolved cases and telling the stories of the families and communities.