Winnipeg’s mayor says he’s committed to doing what he can to help the families of four victims of an alleged serial killer.
Scott Gillingham told 680 CJOB’s The Start that the families of Rebecca Contois, Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, and Buffalo Woman are facing a heartbreaking, impossible situation.
On Monday, police said they believe the remains of Harris and Myran are in a landfill north of the city, but can’t be recovered because of compacting, the passage of time, topography and safety concerns.
Gillingham said families and Indigenous leaders he’s met with are upset about this latest news, and he understands why.
Read more: Winnipeg police say identified victims in alleged serial murder case likely at landfill north of city
“If it was my family, I would want to know. I would want to recover remains. I can absolutely appreciate that. This is heartbreaking, it’s horrific, it’s tragic.
“I’ve been focused over the last several days on many conversations I’ve had with Indigenous leaders from this community. I’ll continue to speak with them,” the mayor said.
“This is a moment about how we feel — a moment about how families feel. That’s why I’m committed to standing with these families. What ultimately comes of that, I don’t know. … But I think it’s important for us as the non-Indigenous community to say to the Indigenous community, ‘We’re here, we’re with you, and this cannot keep happening.'”
Gillingham, who was in Ottawa this week for a mayors’ summit, said he spoke to federal Crown and Indigenous relations minister Marc Miller while in the nation’s capital.
At a news conference this week, Miller — who also pledged to meet with victims’ families — acknowledged that federal governments continue to fail Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people, calling it “an absolute shame” that he “cannot guarantee to people that this will not happen again.”
Jeremy Skibicki, 35, has been charged with first-degree murder in all four deaths, having been arrested for Contois’ murder in May and handed the other three charges late last week.
In a brief court appearance, Skibicki’s lawyer said he maintains his innocence.