Saskatoon landfill search begins in relation to Mackenzie Lee Trottier disappearance

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon landfill search begins, Mackenzie Lee Trottier disappearance'
Saskatoon landfill search begins, Mackenzie Lee Trottier disappearance
WATCH: A Saskatoon landfill search began Wednesday following an investigation into the disappearance of Mackenzie Lee Trottier, who has been missing for over three years. Global's Gates Guarin has more. – May 1, 2024

A Saskatoon landfill search begins Wednesday following an investigation into the disappearance of Mackenzie Lee Trottier, who has been missing for over three years.

“It’s a cold morning, this is a place that nobody wants to be,” said Paul Trottier, Mackenzie’s father.

Mackenzie was last seen on Dec. 21, 2020, leaving her home in the 300 block of Trent Crescent.

The investigation has been ongoing ever since, but Saskatoon police said new evidence spurred the decision to search the landfill.

Click to play video: 'Sightings of Mackenzie Trottier pair Calgary and Saskatoon police on investigation'
Sightings of Mackenzie Trottier pair Calgary and Saskatoon police on investigation

“In late 2023 a substantial amount of data was collected which identified a specific area of the landfill, located at 42 Valley Road, which may contain evidence in the investigation,” police said.

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Resources from Saskatoon police, as well as RCMP, Calgary police and forensic anthropologist Ernie Walker, will be used in the search.

Police said regular updates will be provided and that 33 days have been set aside for the search.

Paul said he prays for the safety of everyone involved in the search and thanks everyone who has been working to find his daughter up to this point.

“This is a long, trying and tiring journey that is not yet finished.”

“Mackenzie, we love you and miss you deeply,” Paul said.

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He spoke about the past three years, saying the family has been getting consistent updates from Saskatoon police.

“Three and a half years of dealing with social media with the slams that we get, with the information that comes, is terribly difficult.”

Paul said the family is asking for respect and privacy, adding that no one should have to go through this.

He said the topic of missing persons is a difficult one that nobody brings up in social situations.

“But it’s a part of what is going on. We have to do something, we have to say something, we have to be somebody who does something for this.”

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“No matter what their past is, they’re human beings. And they deserve our attention.”

Click to play video: 'Search continues for Mackenzie Trottier, 11 months after Saskatoon woman disappeared'
Search continues for Mackenzie Trottier, 11 months after Saskatoon woman disappeared

He reminisced about his daughter, saying when she left the house back in December 2020, she was in good spirits.

“Mackenzie is a person who loves animals, she loves people, she loves joy. She found her place in nature, that’s where she was comfortable, that’s where she was happy, that’s where she found peace.”

He described a woman who was a good student, smart, and was always there to help others. “She wanted to be a vet.”

SPS Staff Sgt. Corey Lenius gave more details about the investigation, saying a specific, calculated search at the landfill will take place.

“This calculation is based off evidence we’ve collected from electronic devices seized across the investigation,” Lenius said.

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Lenius said months of planning and preparation with city of Saskatoon landfill engineers and other units aiding in the search took place.

He said the search area will be roughly 930 cubic metres in size.

Saskatoon police begin a landfill search in relation to the disappearance of Mackenzie Lee Trottier. Global News/ Slavo Kutas

Lenius said safety is paramount when it comes to this search, and consultation has been done with hazmat coordinators from the Saskatoon Fire Department.

He said this area has been deemed a no fly zone by Transportation Canada, adding that they ask people to respect the sensitivity of this search.

“There will be a 1,000 foot ceiling and a two mile radius from this location.”

He said each day 14 officers and two dogs will be assigned to the search, adding that it will be a rotation with new people coming in.

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When asked what the dogs were trained for, Lenius said human recovery.

Police gave some additional details, noting that if the search extends to the full 33 days an estimated $200,000 will be used to cover both staffing and equipment.

Saskatoon’s criminal investigations division has reserve funding, which would be used to cover the expenses.

Lenius said once the search begins, police will be looking for things with dates to confirm that they are searching the right areas.

He said this is a big task for the officers involved, saying these are going to be long days and will be draining.

“Our officers will be working, rain or snow. That won’t slow them down.”

— With files from Gates Guarin and Jeanelle Mandes

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