Yukon gives RCMP more money to solve homicide, missing persons cases
Government provides $1.3 millon over 3 years, for creation of new Historical Case Unit
The government of Yukon is giving more money to the RCMP to investigate unsolved homicides and missing persons cases in the territory.
The force's M Division in Yukon will receive $442,000 annually for three years, to create a Historical Case Unit. Three new full time officers will be hired.
In a statement, Justice Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee says the decision is in response to "the unusually high number of recent homicides in Yukon."
"We want those responsible to be held accountable and for families who have lost their loved ones to be supported in their efforts to find answers and seek justice."
The government says the new investigative unit's work will relate to the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and its mandate will include liaising with First Nations, victims' families, and community groups.
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"Our goal is to bring these investigations to successful conclusions, and ultimately, to provide answers to the families of the victims," Yukon RCMP Chief Supt. Scott Sheppard said in a statement.
The N.W.T. government also announced last month that it will fund an RCMP unit dedicated to working on cold case files. In this year's budget, $304,000 was earmarked to the unit. There are 71 unsolved, historical cases of missing and murdered persons in the N.W.T.
According to the Yukon government, there have been 35 homicide investigations in the territory since 2000, and 12 remain unsolved.
Last year alone, there were eight homicides in Yukon — a number unmatched in records going back to 1961. So far, only two of those have resulted in criminal charges.
The most recent homicide in Yukon happened last week, when a 25-year-old woman was killed in a Whitehorse apartment building. No one has been arrested.