Manitoba

Homicide victim's family wants update on landfill search

Family members of Tanya Nepinak say they want more information from Winnipeg police on when a search for her remains will begin at the Brady Road landfill.
Family members of Tanya Nepinak, whose remains are believed to be buried at the Brady Road landfill, say they want more information from police about when a search will begin. 1:15

Family members of Tanya Nepinak say they want more information from Winnipeg police on when a search for her remains will begin at the Brady Road landfill.

Police are planning to launch a search for the remains of Nepinak, 31, who went missing in September 2011 and is presumed to be a victim of homicide.

Tanya Nepinak, 31, went missing in September 2011 and is presumed to be a victim of homicide. However, her remains have not been found. (Family photo)

Shawn Lamb, 52, was charged with second-degree murder earlier this year in connection with Nepinak's death, but her body has never been found.

Police have not said when they will begin combing the landfill for Nepinak's remains.

Her sister, Gail Nepinak, says despite a number of calls to police, the family has not heard any new details about the search.

"Nothing. There's nothing," she told CBC News late Thursday.

"We're trying to keep strong, but it's harder for us as a family, not knowing answers to our questions as much as we need it."

Tanya Nepinak's former partner, Vernon Mann, says he wants to see more communication between police and the family with regards to the search.

"It was really nice to hear they were going to start doing the search, and then you kind of start waiting and waiting and then you just start getting angry," he said.

Police Chief Keith McCaskill said earlier Thursday that he would make sure Nepinak's family is kept informed.

"I'll certainly talk to our investigators and make sure that they're informed as much as they can," McCaskill told reporters.

Gail Nepinak and Mann said they are considering sending letters to police or starting a petition calling for the search to commence quickly.

Volunteers offer to help

Meanwhile, McCaskill said there is no decision yet on whether to use volunteers in the search for Nepinak's remains at the landfill.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs says it has upwards of 100 people willing to help search in the landfill, but McCaskill told a city committee on Thursday morning that many safety issues have to be considered first.

"You may have aerosol cans in there, you may have propane tanks in there, you may have needles in there. You may have, you know, diseased stuff in there," he said.

"There's a lot more work that has to be done as far as the safety of people and so on, so we're right in that right now."

No date has yet been set for the search to begin, McCaskill said.

Last month, police said they have reason to believe Nepinak's remains are likely at the city-run landfill.

McCaskill has said the search will be a "mammoth" undertaking, as it will take at least a month just to remove enough garbage to access the search site.

The police chief has estimated the chances of finding Nepinak's remains — such as pieces of bone — are at less than five per cent.

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