Police find human remains at Winnipeg landfill as part of Contois homicide investigation

Winnipeg police announced Wednesday officers have found human remains at the Brady Landfill as part of an ongoing murder investigation into the death of 24-year-old Rebecca Contois. Morgan Modjeski reports.

By Morgan Modjeski and The Canadian Press

Police say they have recovered human remains while searching a landfill as part of an investigation into the killing of an Indigenous woman.

Officers started searching the Winnipeg landfill – the Brady Road Resource Management Facility – two weeks ago for the remains of Rebecca Contois, who was 24.

Her partial remains were found last month, on May 16, in a garbage bin near a city apartment building.

BACKGROUND: ‘Horrifically, grisly scene’: Remains of woman found near Winnipeg apartment block

The remains discovered Tuesday by the police ground search team have not yet been identified and there will be an autopsy.

“The scene at Brady is currently being held pending an autopsy of the discovered remains,” said Const. Dani McKinnon. “The homicide unit will continue to update the family through a trauma-informed approach as more information does become available.

“No new charges have been laid as a result of this discovery.”

WATCH: Murder charges laid, neighbours shocked following homicide

Police said they learned some of her other remains may have gone to the landfill during a garbage pickup.

They also said they were not ruling out the possibility of additional victims.

Insp. Cam MacKid says the search has been a challenging one. He says police teams and landfill staff have been working closely together on search efforts, saying that the close collaboration contributed to the successful search.

READ MORE: Landfill search begins as Winnipeg police investigate Indigenous woman’s death

“With any search of a landfill site, a number of factors are going to determine how difficult that search is going to be and what our chances of success are going to be,” detailed MacKid. “One of those factors is how quickly we become aware that evidence, or remains, have been disposed of at a certain site, and in this case, we were fortunate, in that it was fairly quickly.

In some areas, the search team was dealing with up to three metres of debris, said MacKid.

Officers were outfitted with protective suits and respirators during the search.

Winnipeg’s Brady Road Resource Management Facility on June 15, 2022. (Credit: CityNews/Morgan Modjeski)

MacKid said an excavator was brought in to transport large debris to a designated area then officers sifted through the contents.

He added the team was also able to use drones to capture imaging of the area.

MacKid says police looked at an area around the size of four to six football fields, eventually reducing the scope to a specific area the size of roughly 1.5 fields, with police digging deep into the landfill as part of the efforts.

Police say they’ve been working to support the Contois family during the search and the ongoing investigation.

“We have sought to provide trauma-informed and culturally safe supports to Rebecca’s family during their agonizing time of grief and mourning,” McKinnon said.

WPG Homicide NEW1

Scene of crime in Winnipeg on May 19, 2022. (Credit: CityNews/Morgan Modjeski)

Angie Tuesday, the family resource and support advocate with the WPS, says the loss has been hard for not only the Contois family, but the survivors and family of all missing and murdered women, girls, and 2SLGBTQ+ people in Winnipeg.

Tuesday says the police service is doing all it can for them during this difficult time.

“All incidents involving missing, murdered, Indigenous women and girls and two spirit and gender diverse people, if it happens to one, it impacts all of us,” said Tuesday.

A 35-year-old was charged last month with first-degree murder in the death of Contois.

Winnipeg Homicide

Scene of crime in Winnipeg on May 19, 2022. (Credit: CityNews/Morgan Modjeski)


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