WINNIPEG — Winnipeg police have seized and are processing what the Drag the Red group believe to be human teeth.
“We seized what appears to be teeth and I’m not going to comment on whether or not they are human teeth,” Constable Jason Michalyshen said at a news conference Tuesday morning. “We are still investigating. They have been seized, they will be processed by our forensic identification section.”
WATCH: Winnipeg police update on teeth found, handed over by Drag the Red
Working off a tip, organizer Kyle Kematch came across the teeth Monday afternoon.
“I came across the first tooth, took measurements and sent them in,” said Kematch. “While we were waiting I continued searching and we found 3 more.”
Kematch found the teeth along the shores of the Red River near the Seine, close to Whittier Park.
Drag the Red started searching the river and its banks by boat and on foot after the body of Tina Fontaine was pulled from the Red River in August 2014.
Volunteers hope to find clues that might lead to the discovery of other missing or murdered indigenous women.
The group has found bones in the past but they were determined to be animal.
“I handed in hair, handed in a gun,” said Kematch. “We pulled up animal bones before.”
Each time, volunteers wait to hear if what they have found could be evidence in helping solve a loved one’s case.
“They are items that have been deemed an item of concern and there is a process that needs to take place and sometimes it can be time consuming,” said Constable Jason Michalyshen with the Winnipeg Police Service.
“Finding stuff like this just shows myself that we are getting somewhere. It’s not all for nothing,” said Kematch.
His sister, Amber went missing back in 2010 and hasn’t been heard from since.
“It goes through your mind that its a possibility that it could be Amber,” he said.
READ MORE: Bones found on bank of Red River
While volunteers do believe their discoveries get taken seriously, they are frustrated with officers slow response times. On Monday night, it took officers more than 5 hours to respond to their call about the teeth. But officers said it was a busy night, with only 27 cars to respond to more than 55 calls in the queue.
Repairs have kept some of the volunteers boats off the river lately, but they hope to be able to get back out on the river Wednesday morning.