Human remains found in 2018 by the Saskatchewan RCMP belong to an Edmonton woman who has been missing for four years, confirmed officials on Thursday.
The remains of Cheyenne Partridge were discovered near Maymont, Sask., but it wasn’t until this week that officials were able to confirm the identity.
The remains were found in July of 2018 about 90 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon in a remote rural area, a few hundred metres inland from the North Saskatchewan River, say RCMP.
The cause of Partridge’s death remains under investigation.
“Having a loved one go missing can be very traumatic for a family, and it was very important to investigators that we identified Cheyenne so that she may be brought home to her family and provide them with a sense of closure, ” says Cpl. Kelly Bates, Saskatchewan RCMP Historical Case Unit, in a statement.
This is the first time RCMP in Saskatchewan were able to identify remains through the National Missing Persons DNA Program (NMPDP).
Police say the remains were originally compared against numerous outstanding missing person cases across the province and Alberta, but no matches were made.
Investigators then developed a DNA profile from the remains and worked with the NMPDP to have a sample added to the program.
“The DNA profile was then compared against DNA profiles from missing persons and their relatives from across the country by the National DNA Data Bank,” said the RCMP in a statement.
As a result, the DNA profile matched with Partridge who went missing from Edmonton in 2016. She was 25 at the time.
In 2016, Partridge’s uncle, Biz Nicotine, told Global News she seemed upset when she left the home without a jacket or shoes.
Nicotine said this was the first time she ever did that as she was “close to our family and would keep in touch with everybody.”
The Edmonton Police Service had kept the case open since 2016.
“While the cause of Cheyenne’s death remains undetermined, the investigation remains open,” says Sgt. John Smith with the Edmonton Police Service’s missing persons unit, in a statement.
“We will continue to explore and investigate any information we receive relating to the death of Cheyenne.”
This is the sixth investigation where human remains have been identified with the assistance of NMPDP.
The program was established in 2018 to support missing persons and unidentified remains investigations.
Through the program, DNA profiles from missing persons and unidentified remains are compared to 500,000 DNA profiles in the National DNA Data Bank.