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Beatrice Adam, 36, was last seen alive on a bridge in Prince Albert, Sask., on Oct. 8, 2014. Four days later, her body was found floating in the North Saskatchewan River. The chief coroner’s office declared her death was caused by drowning.
Her father, Allan Adam, still wonders what happened to Beatrice as he crosses the bridge where she was last seen.
“I still feel it today when I cross that bridge,” said Adam, of La Ronge and Prince Albert, Sask.
Adam doesn’t believe his daughter would have jumped into the river to end her life, despite any life challenges she was going through.
“[The police] just determined that she drowned, but my feeling is we don’t know how she got into the river,” he said.
“She had bruises on her nose, on her body … she had broken ribs; maybe it was from the fall. We don’t know.”
Adam said his daughter was with her boyfriend that October night on the bridge, and there were witnesses. The Prince Albert Police Service confirmed that three people were on the bridge: Beatrice, her boyfriend, and a third person who left the scene.
“They could have asked more questions,” Adam said of the police investigation. “They said that people were yelling on the bridge, but it was dark.”
Since Beatrice’s death, her boyfriend has been missing. Efforts to search for him in the same area where her body was found have not been successful.
When her death was declared a drowning, police did not continue to investigate, said Adam, who believes her case was closed too quickly.
“But they were helpful, which was good; they were supportive,” Adam said, noting that the family was offered counselling.
Before her death, Beatrice Adam lived on the streets of Prince Albert and struggled with substance abuse, her father said.
“The last five years of her life were unstable,” said Allan Adam.
“Her personal family life just went down — she was married before and had three boys.”
Beatrice spent the last few years of her life in Prince Albert. Originally from Fond Du Lac Denesuline First Nation, she had also lived in Yellowknife and in Uranium City and La Ronge, Sask.
“We tried very hard to get her off the street,” said Adam, remembering what it was like to come home after a visit with his daughter.
“I felt helpless, didn’t know what to do.”
Today, Allan Adam fondly remembers when his daughter was a young girl.
“She had everything … [a] really good life, everything a little, young person could have that we could afford,” he said.
“She took French immersion, she took music. She was really smart and she was really climatized to the Dene ways.”
Adam also taught Beatrice their Dene language.
“She had the best of all worlds that she lived at the time,” he said.
“She loved to sing. She had a really good voice, a really beautiful voice.”
Beatrice sang well into her early adulthood. When she was young, she enjoyed camping and fishing, too, her father remembered.
Allan Adam wants a federal inquiry to include all cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women, including Beatrice’s case.
“It’s the whole social problem as to where we stand that has to be addressed totally right across Canada.”
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.