Manitoba

Jennifer Catcheway's family searching landfill and Dakota Tipi yards

A missing Manitoba woman's mother says her family received a tip recently to look through a landfill near the Dakota Tipi First Nation.

'I’ve always have questions about Dakota Tipi, unanswered questions from 2008'

The family of Jennifer Catcheway, who's been missing for seven years, say they've received a tip about where she might be. 1:42

The family of Jennifer Catcheway, who's been missing for seven years, say they've received a tip about where she might be.

Her parents said someone recently showed up at their home and told them to search a landfill near the Dakota Tipi First Nation, 85 kilometres west of Winnipeg near Portage la Prairie.

"I've always have questions about Dakota Tipi, unanswered questions from 2008," said Jennifer's father, Wilfred Catcheway. "We always end up coming back to Dakota Tipi."

Bernice Catcheway said the family went to the landfill on Thursday to search for clues, but they didn't find anything.

"We came home empty-handed, but we're not done. The search will go on until we bring her home," she said.

The family returned Friday morning to continue the search.

Bernice Catcheway hopes the renewed search prompts someone to come forward with information.
Jennifer Catcheway's family members are searching a landfill near the Dakota Tipi First Nation for clues to where the missing woman might be.

"There are numbers to call. They could call me, they could [contact] me through Facebook — there are ways to get a hold of us. Somebody out there has information. If they would just let us know … end this nightmare," she said.

Allison Smoke, who lives on Dakota Tipi, helped crews search the landfill Friday. She said it's clear to everyone involved in the search what kind of pain Bernice is in.

"It's sad for us all because we are all mothers and we know that she is hurting and when you hug her you can feel her pain," said Smoke. "We just hope that it's over soon because everyone deserves to take their children home."

'Hard to know what to believe'

Smoke said what happened to Catcheway is still a topic swirling around the community. There is so much speculation "it's hard to know what to believe," she added.
Allison Smoke, who lives on Dakota Tipi First Nation, helped crews search the landfill this week. (CBC)

"I've had others tell me what they've heard. I've seen people posting on Facebook about conversations that went down in this community," said Smoke, adding she believes "there is a secret out there."

"It's scary because we live amongst these people, and if they could cover something like that up and if one of our kids go missing, they're not going to tell us."

RCMP did not help search: parents

Twenty volunteers showed up to search the landfill with Bernice and Wilfred Catcheway on Thursday. Police did not attend, the parents said.

RCMP spokesperson Bert Paquet said in cases of missing persons similar to this one, families may obtain consent to search or dig when police wouldn't have the grounds or legal authority to do so themselves. 

"We do support any initiative that might potentially advance an investigation," Paquet said. "We hope that this renewed search and public interest will prompt someone with information to contact our investigators, or crime stoppers, and continue to make that appeal."

Meanwhile Wilfred said he's tried to meet with investigators working on the case but hasn't had any luck.

"So we got to take the initiative," said Wilfred. "I've tried to meet with [the RCMP detective] but he always has other stuff to do."

Winnipeg RCMP continue to investigate Catcheway's disappearance and said they are treating it as a homicide.

"I don't know who we're dealing with or what kind of monster we're dealing with," said Bernice Catcheway.

Smoke reiterated that Bernice and her supporters will never give up on the search.

"There is a wide open wound here. Everyone knows it, nobody wants to talk about it, but it's there and it's not going to go away," said Smoke. "That woman is not going to stop looking for her daughter."

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