Calgary police and family members of a 35-year-old woman found dead in the Ramsay neighbourhood in February continue to search for answers in her death.
At about 11:50 a.m. on Feb. 25, 2022, a woman’s body was found in a residential waste container in the 700 block of 24 Avenue Southeast.
The woman has been identified as Tara Niptanatiak. Calgary police released the woman’s name on Tuesday morning, with the permission of her family.
The Calgary Police Service said an autopsy determined Niptanatiak’s death was not suspicious. However, officers continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding how she ended up in the waste container.
Police said hundreds of hours of CCTV footage have been reviewed. Officers do not believe Niptanatiak “entered the alley under her own abilities and may have been placed there using a vehicle or other means not captured on CCTV.”
“Tara was the kind of person that helped those in need before helping herself, she was one of a kind,” Rolonda Niptanatiak, Tara’s sister, said in a statement Tuesday.
“She loved life, and those who knew her knew that to be true. Throughout all of this, the not knowing, the unanswered questions, the complete heartache of knowing she’s been buried before we found out all I could think of is my big sister, the woman who protected me from everything she could, the woman who held my hand through some of the scariest moments of my life, the woman who loved me and everyone more than she could ever love herself.
“She was the most beautiful person, not just the way she looked but her heart. She was so kind and full of life.”
Investigators hope to find out who Niptanatiak was with prior to her body being found. At the time of her death, she had short, dark hair and was wearing dark clothing with a North Face winter jacket. She had a red sleeping bag with her, according to police.
“Tara was beloved by her family and friends and they deserve answers,” said Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta with the homicide unit.
“Her death is not believed to be suspicious, but we know there are people out there who know what happened to Tara and we want to speak with them.”
Niptanatiak was also known to frequent area shelters, police said.
Anyone with information on this case can call the CPS at 403-266-1234. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.