Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Catcheway family finds bones


SOURCE: ctvwinnipeg.ca

The family of missing 18-year-old, Jennifer Catcheway, say they have sent bones in to the RCMP for examination.

They found the bones while searching in a wooded area near Gypsumville Tuesday night. RCMP say so far there is no confirmation on whether or not the bones are human.

Despite the recent discovery, the family took a day off from the search to hold a vigil for the teenager at the Manitoba Legislature Wednesday afternoon.

Jennifers' mother Bernice told CTV News her heart was still in the search at Gypsumville, but she attended the vigil because she wanted to bring attention to the plight of missing aboriginal women across the country.

The family says they are tired, but that they won't give up their search.

Teenager missing for over a month

Thursday, June 19 was Jennifer Catcheway's 18th birthday.

She called her mom Bernice at about nine o'clock that morning and told her she was in Grand Rapids and was coming home to the Long Plain First Nation with two male friends.

Someone saw her getting into a truck in Grand Rapids later that day. She hasn't been seen since.

More than one month later, the search continues for the missing woman -- a search that has grown more desperate with every week that goes by.

The RCMP's Major Crime Unit and the Serious Crimes Unit are now helping in the search, signs that this may be more than a missing person case.

The search seemed to reach a climax on July 4, when search teams began scouring the Interlake bush near Gypsumville, 270 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

Police called it an "area of interest".

The RCMP Hasty Unit was on the scene -- the team that looks for people lost in dense bush, or to find evidence that is difficult to get to.

They even had a Manitoba Conservation helicopter flying overhead, but the search failed to find anything.

Police questioned two men

Police did make an arrest - they brought in two men for questioning, but released them without charging them.

Meanwhile, her family and volunteers continued to search near the teen's home near Portage la Prairie.

"Something happened to her on the 19th, which is her birthday, coming from Grand Rapids," her father Wilfred said in an interview with CTV News earlier this month.

"I feel she's in trouble somewhere," said her mother, Bernice.

The family has been following any lead they find. Someone said they saw her in Swan River, so the family drove several hours to the town, but didn't find anything.

They also heard she was seen at a house party on the Dakota Tipi First Nation, which has also been the target of numerous searches.

Teams even took to canoes in the Assiniboine River to search the river banks.

Reward now at $7,500

The total reward now stands at $7,500 - split between the Assembly of First Nations, the Long Plain First Nation, and Manitoba Search and Rescue.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Jennifer Leigh Catcheway, you're asked to call 777-0553

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