Edmonton

Murdered aboriginal woman remembered on Mother's Day

In a field south of Edmonton where spring is slowly returning, a group of people celebrated Mother’s Day and a mother whose murder remains unsolved this weekend.

Five years later, Amber Tuccaro's murder remains unsolved

April Eve Wiberg, right, and members of the Stolen Sisters and Brother Awareness movement pray, in memory of Amber Tuccaro. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

In a field south of Edmonton where spring is slowly returning, a group of people celebrated Mother's Day and a mother whose murder remains unsolved.

"She should be here with us celebrating Mother's Day," said April Eve Wiberg with the Stolen Sisters and Brothers Awareness movement.

"She's been robbed from her family, her son, she deserves to be honoured, she deserves justice." 

It's been five years since Amber Tuccaro, 20, went missing. Her son, Jacob, was 14 months old when she disappeared.

She was last seen at a hotel in Nisku, where she was staying with a female friend. She was visiting from Fort McMurray, where she was living with her mother. Tuccaro's plan was to stay the night outside the city to save money and head into Edmonton the next day.

Tuccaro was too excited and decided to hitchhike into the city that night. When she didn't return by the next day, the friend called her mother, who then called the RCMP.

On Aug. 28, 2012, RCMP released a cellphone conversation  Tuccaro had while in the company of an unidentified man. They hoped it would bring in tips to help identify him.

The man is heard in the background trying to convince Tuccaro that he is driving east from Nisku to travel into Edmonton along 50th Street.

On Sunday, Wiberg and a few others replayed that phone conversation, the best "clue" they said, and laid flowers near the spot where Tuccaro's remains were found in September 2012.
Members of the group, Stolen Sisters and Brothers Awareness movement, put up posters like this one on the weekend near Leduc. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

The group also put up posters, encouraging anyone who may have seen something or know something to call police.

"We're hoping that this will help jog someone's memory. Maybe they'd seen something. Maybe they'd seen Amber get inside of a vehicle," said Wiberg, who didn't know Tuccaro but said she feels connected to her because they are both from the Mikisew Cree First Nation in northeastern Alberta.

Since Tuccaro's remains were found, the bodies of two other missing and murdered women have been located in the same area — the most recent was Delores Brower, found on Apr. 19, 2015.

"There's something very, very disturbing going on. There doesn't seem to be any coincidence that there was four women found within miles of each other," said Wiberg.

"It's very, very sad that these are things that are happening to the women in our community," said Rivers Stonechild, a volunteer with the organization.

"I could be my little sister out there. My niece, my mom. It could be any family member I know and love. It hits close to home."

Stonechild is one of just a few men involved with Stolen Sisters and Brothers Awareness movement. He said he hopes more men get involved to help find answers about what's happening with murdered and missing aboriginal women.

The organization also raised the alarm that the person responsible for Tuccaro's murder may be living in Leduc or in the surrounding area, and again encouraged people to listen to the voice, the man Tuccaro last spoke with.

"We suspect that this individual may live out here in Leduc or Leduc county. It's important that if these crimes are occurring here that people are aware of some of the dangers," said Wiberg.

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