The head of Alberta RCMP’s historical homicide unit believes the disappearances and deaths of three Alberta women “can and will be solved.”
The three missing persons cases span 30 years and involve women ranging in age from 16 to 70.
None of the women have been found but investigators believe they were murdered.
Shelly Ann Bacsu was just 16 years old when she was reported missing to Hinton RCMP on May 3, 1983. She didn’t come home from a friend’s house — a seven-kilometre walk she’d done many times before. Her body was never found but police found some of her belongings along the Athabasca River near Hinton.
LISTEN: Cpl. Kerry Shima on using Twitter to investigate the disappearance of Stephanie Stewart
Stephanie Stewart, 70, was working at the Athabasca Fire Lookout Tower near Hinton when she was last heard from in August 2006. She was an employee of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development and colleagues were worried when she didn’t call in on the morning of Aug. 26.
Her cabin was looked at, RCMP called in to investigate, and officers believed she had been murdered.
Deanna MacNeil, 44, was reported missing to Vegreville RCMP by a friend on Nov. 30, 2013. Since the friend spoke with her frequently, she was concerned when she didn’t hear from MacNeil for 48 hours.
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Police determined she was seen in Mundare at the Servus Credit Union ATM, the Mundare Liquor Store and lastly, at a friend’s house at around 12:30 a.m. on the morning of Nov. 28, 2013. There has been no word from MacNeil since and her body has not been found, but RCMP believe she was the victim of a homicide.
RCMP said Monday they were bringing the details of the three cases to light again in hopes of receiving more information into what happened.
“In each of these three cases, we know that there are people out there who have knowledge of what happened to Shelly Ann, Deanna and Stephanie,” Staff Sgt. Jason Zazulak said. “We want to hear from those people, whether it be through Crime Stoppers, through their local detachment or through our own social media channels.”
The lead investigator in the Stewart case will also be using social media to help make progress in the case. His Twitter handle is @KerryShima_RCMP.