Winnipeg police are hoping the public can help fill in some gaps with their investigation after a 41-year-old woman died of serious burns in hospital in late August.
Police said Melissa Cook, from Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, had been living in Winnipeg since April.
Based on what they’ve learned so far, homicide investigators believe Cook was unhoused during her time in Winnipeg. While they have confirmed she spent time at Siloam Mission and in the South Point Douglas area, she may have also lived in homeless encampments.
Police said she was likely burned between late June and early July, but remained quiet about her injuries until notifying a shelter in July, when she was taken to hospital.
Read more: Police investigating Sunday morning homicide
House-sitters beware: Your trip could end at a border crossing
‘How about me’: Man arrested after commenting under police ‘Most Wanted’ list
Const. Jay Murray said Monday that police are working backwards in an attempt to figure out what happened and who might be responsible.
“We do know that Melissa wasn’t very candid about her injuries with some of the people she interacted with,” he said.
“We want to know if she confided in her injuries to anyone, the source of her injuries… or even a better timeline.”
Murray said there’s no indication at this point that Cook was targeted due to being unhoused.
Investigators are hoping to speak with anyone who knew her may have known about her injuries, or may have been similarly victimized.
Anyone with information is asked to call the major crimes unit at 204-986-6219 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).