Search for Jennifer Catcheway's body resumes on her 26th birthday
'After doing a lot of interviews, it just boils down to Dakota Tipi,' says father Wilfred Catcheway
Jennifer Catcheway's parents, other family members and volunteers started looking for her body again on Monday at Dakota Tipi First Nation, nine years after the 17-year-old went missing.
Bernice and Wilfred Catcheway are searching at a dump and in a bushy area just behind the band office on the reserve about 85 kilometres west of Winnipeg, near Portage la Prairie, Man.
"It's a roller-coaster. It's a nightmare. We just want to bring her home," Wilfred Catcheway said.
Jennifer was last seen in photographs at a party in Grand Rapids, Man., about 400 kilometres north of Winnipeg, in June 2008. Her parents became concerned when she did not return home to Portage la Prairie on June 19 to celebrate her 18th birthday.
On Monday, the day she would have turned 26, her parents returned to Dakota Tipi First Nation, five kilometres from Portage la Prairie, to search for her remains.
Cadaver dogs are assisting in the search.
"After all the information that came in over the years … everything just leads us back to where we're going today," said Bernice Catcheway.
Both she and her husband believe their daughter never made it out of Grand Rapids alive. That theory has also been supported by police detectives, the parents said.
Manitoba RCMP have ruled Jennifer's death as a homicide.
"We work closely with the family and continue to investigate," said Cpl. Sean Farrell of the RCMP major crime unit in a written statement.
"We encourage anyone with information to come forward and contact police. Please don't assume we know what you know. If you know anything, please reach out."
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"After doing a lot of interviews, it just boils down to Dakota Tipi," said Wilfred.
A search of the dump at Dakota Tipi in 2015 turned up nothing, but this time, the Catcheways are determined to keep searching until they find something.
They also hold out hope that someone knows something about what happened to their daughter.
"Women, girls — they don't just go missing. Somebody stole them," Bernice said.
"Just come forward," said Wilfred. "Tell us the truth."
Anyone with information about the disappearance of Jennifer Catcheway can contact their local RCMP detachment or call Manitoba Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, text "TIPMAN" plus your message to CRIMES (274637) or submit a tip online.
with files from Caroline Barghout and Jill Coubrough