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Iqaluit RCMP, family of Mary Ann Birmingham plead for help solving 31-year-old murder

Mary Ann Birmingham was brutally murdered in her home in Iqaluit on May 26, 1986 when she was 15 years old. The police have renewed their plea for the public's help in solving the crime.

'If we can get some kind of resolution, I think it would ease our suffering,' says sister

Elisapee Sheutiapik holds a photo of her sister Mary Ann Birmingham at the National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Ottawa on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. (The Canadian Press/Justin Tang)

Thirty-one years after Mary Ann Birmingham's death, the police and her family are still pleading for the public's help to solve her murder.

Fifteen-year-old Birmingham was brutally murdered in her home in Iqaluit on May 26, 1986. This week the police said they're still investigating the homicide.

Elisapee Sheutiapik cries remembering her younger sister. 

"It's really sad that she never had the chance to grow old with us," Sheutiapik said in Inuktitut. 

Mary Ann Birmingham was brutally murdered in her home in Iqaluit on May 26, 1986 when she was 15 years old. (RCMP)

Sheutiapik is marking the anniversary on Friday with a plea for information about her sister's death.

"If anyone out there has any ounce of information, they need to come forward with what they know," Sheutiapik said.

"If we can get some kind of resolution, I think it would ease our suffering a little."

A former mayor of Iqaluit and community leader, Sheutiapik brought her sister's picture to the national roundtable on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Ottawa in 2015.

"It's not just us, it's not just our family, many in Nunavut have been affected, my younger sister is not the only one we often think of," she said.

She finds talking about her sister very emotional, and the constant media attention and discussion around missing and murdered Indigenous women brings her "reeling back like it was yesterday."

"It's our duty to stop the violence," she said.

RCMP renews its plea

Mike Burns, with the Nunavut RCMP's major crimes unit, says it's important to him to close the investigation.

"We want to bring the persons responsible for this to court to answer to the charge and we need to get closure for Mary Ann's family," he said.

"As in the case of many investigations, most of the evidence comes from the public and the success built from this information usually leads to us being able to lay a charge."

Anyone with information about Birmingham's death can call the RCMP's tip line toll free at 1-844-370-7729, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

With files from Michael Salomonie

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