The sister of a woman who went missing in 2008 wants the Red River dredged to search for the bodies of missing and murdered women.
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“We need to do that to make sure that none of our people are in that river,” said Bernadette Smith, whose sister Claudette Osborne went missing at age 21. “I mean, who knows? We could bring someone’s loved one home.”
Smith said she would rather see the river dredged than have a national inquiry, but Winnipeg police have refused to do it.
“We know that Tina Fontaine’s body is not the first that’s been found in the river. There’s been a couple of other women whose parts of their body have been found,” she said. “How much more evidence do you need than to find bodies in the river? Like, it’s time to dredge that river.”
Osborne went missing six years ago and Smith is still looking for answers.
“We can’t just sit in our homes anymore. This is becoming a bigger issue than just sitting around tweeting about it, putting it on social media, going to marches and vigils,” said Smith. “We have to start doing action-oriented stuff.”
Smith attended a meeting about the possibility at Neechi Commons Thursday afternoon. Many came to share their insights about how a project like that might work.
Percy Ningewance said he helped dredge a body of water in his Ontario community.
“I don’t know what it’s like in the bottom of this place. If there’s sticks, it’s going to be rough. It’s not going to be easy,” he said.
Geologist Marc Pelletier has years of experience dredging in Quebec and said it would be extremely difficult to find a body that way.
“If you don’t know where to go, you will waste a lot of time finding something, bringing it to the surface and [finding out] it’s not what you were looking for,” he said.