Amber Tuccaro’s family to increase reward for information on homicide
It’s been seven years since Amber Alyssa Tuccaro disappeared from Nisku, Alta.
Now, her loved ones say they are planning to increase the $5,000 reward they’re offering for new information that could help solve her murder.
“(The reward has) been there before but now we’re going to up it, we just haven’t set the amount yet,” Paul Tuccaro, Amber Tuccaro’s brother, told reporters on Monday. “Because now, with this inquiry, it’s going to be getting more press and so now, hopefully, my sister’s name will be in the news again.”
Tuccaro said he can’t yet say by how much the reward will be increased but added it was coming out of the pockets of his family and the community.
He said he came to Edmonton from Fort Chipewyan this week to meet with officials with Canada’s inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The Edmonton hearings don’t take place until November but the inquiry is holding a community meeting in Alberta’s capital this week.
Tuccaro was just 20 years old when she was last seen getting into an unknown man’s vehicle during a visit to Edmonton on Aug. 18, 2010.
Two years later, her remains were found near Leduc. Her homicide remains unsolved.
Late Monday afternoon, Tuccaro’s brother held a news conference in Edmonton.
Last month, the family launched a social media campaign and started a Justice for Amber Facebook page to continue raising awareness about her case.
In August 2014, investigators asked for the public’s help identifying the male voice on a recording taken the night Tuccaro disappeared.
In November 2015, the RCMP put up billboards encouraging people to visit a website to listen to the audio of a conversation she had with an unknown man.
Watch below: On Nov. 12, 2013, Laurel Gregory filed this report on the Amber Tuccaro case.
“You know, they hung on to the tape for as long as they did and not release it… Where’s their priorities?” Tuccaro asked. “If they would have had that tape, released it – or if the process.. that’s supposed to be followed was followed, not just pushed aside, maybe things would have been different.”
In March 2014, an RCMP spokesperson said she “recognizes initial elements of the investigation were mishandled.”
“The RCMP missing persons unit along with new policies and procedures were created because of the Amber Tuccaro file and other factors learned over the course of other investigations,” Sgt. Josee Valiquette said at the time.
Watch below: On March 21, 2014, Fletcher Kent filed this report on the Amber Tuccaro case.
Tuccaro said Canada’s inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women has been difficult for his family, particularly with the mounting number of people involved with the inquiry who have resigned.
“It’s been mentally draining because when you talk to the inquiry, you talk to (so) many different people,” he said, adding he has been told the inquiry may not include his sister’s death.
“We were told that because my sister’s case is ongoing that her story might not be included in the inquiry,” he said. “And we’re like, ‘Well, why not?’
“It upsets the whole family because you get all these women that are missing, and the majority of them, the cases are ongoing, but yet they’re included. But yet, (with) my sister, they said they had to check with their legal team to see if she could be included.”
This summer, the commission has heard from family members of missing and murdered women who say they have lost faith in the process, which is expected to take at least two years and cost $53.8 million.
In an open letter released earlier this month, some families called on the commission to start over from the beginning because of the resignation of one of the commissioners in July. The commissioners have said they are moving ahead with their work.
Tuccaro said his family is still hopeful the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls will yield results but that he is also considering other steps if it doesn’t.
“(We’ll) see what happens with the inquiry and then… there’s been talk of our family with other families starting our own inquiry.
“The biggest thing is we owe it to my sister and to all the other women that went missing. They’re all First Nation and it seems like… everybody’s got families, all these women and girls they all have families… we’re not going to go anywhere. We owe it to my sister.”
View photos related to the Amber Tuccaro case in the gallery below:
For more information on the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, click here.
-With files from The Canadian Press
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