Hundreds of searchers look for missing teen in northern Manitoba
Tammy Nattaway, 16, was last seen almost a month ago in Garden Hill, Man.
A search is underway in northern Manitoba today for a teenager who's been missing for almost a month.
Volunteer searchers as well an RCMP team are looking for Tammy Nattaway on the Garden Hill First Nation.
The 16-year-old was last seen on July 20th in the community, according to the RCMP.
Mark Barkman is one of the volunteer searchers who's been looking for the girl in recent days. He said about 300 people are taking part in the search Saturday, and people from neighbouring communities have come to help look for the missing girl.
"We've got to find her. We have to find her," Barkman said in a phone interview Saturday.
Garden Hill First Nation is about 475 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.
Mounties helping with search
RCMP Sgt. Paul Manaigre is one of about 12 officers on the ground helping with the search.
He said Mounties started their search Saturday morning where the teen was last seen and will focus on other high-probable areas. He said conditions were ideal Saturday in the northern Manitoba terrain, which can be difficult to search in.
"You're basically in a lake area with basically a forested brush, so you've got your roads throughout the community, various homes spread out, you get some open areas and then we get some areas where it's just a dense brush."
"It's challenging," he said adding some areas are swampy.
Manaigre said the RCMP believe the teen hasn't left the Island Lake region, which has four First Nations and requires either a boat or expensive plane ticket to get out.
Manaigre said Island Lake RCMP received a missing persons report about the teen on July 31 and a specialized search team arrived this weekend.
"As far as the search team being deployed, that's always a tough aspect of the investigation because you want to deploy the search team when you have your most up-to-date and accurate information as to a place where let's say we found an item, let's say we found her footwear or a jacket — now you've got a place to start.
"This one is kind of difficult because we're basing this on a last sighting, so we're focusing on Garden Hill for all we know she could be in St. Theresa Point."
RCMP searchers are expected to be on the ground Sunday and possibly Monday, Manaigre said.
Tammy is about five feet tall and 100 pounds. She has short black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to call Island Lake RCMP at 204-456-2626 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477. People can also submit secure tips online at manitobacrimestoppers.com.