Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Chief Asks Parents of Missing Daughter to Bring RCMP for Next Search

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Chief Asks Parents of Missing Daughter to Bring RCMP for Next Search

Article excerpt

Bring RCMP for next search, chief asks family

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PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. - Animosity is brewing in Manitoba between a mother and father desperate for clues into the disappearance of their missing daughter, and a First Nations chief who says band members have grown tired of searchers digging holes on their reserve.

Bernice Catcheway, whose daughter, Jennifer, disappeared seven years ago, says she, her husband and other searchers are now barred from entering the Dakota Tipi reserve near Portage la Prairie after their latest search of the community's dump and other areas last week.

The searchers brought a backhoe, and while they didn't find any physical evidence, Catcheway says a resident gave them another tip.

"It's important we go back there, but obviously we can't," said Catcheway, speaking from her home in Portage la Prairie.

"It is not a very big reserve but there (are) places we needed to get into and we still need to get into."

It's not the first time the searchers have been to Dakota Tipi, following up on a tip Catcheway may have gone to a party in the community before her disappearance.

Catcheway was 18 in June 2008 when she vanished from Grand Rapids while on her way to Portage la Prairie.

Chief David L. Pashe says his community initially welcomed the searchers when they first came to the reserve several years ago. He said they offered the visitors the use of their community centre and cooked food for them. In the following years, they donated money.

But Pashe says they've been digging holes, knocking down trees with their equipment and searching in places outside of the areas they said they'd be in, including near a cemetery.

He says they can come back, but if they do, they should bring the RCMP.

"I'd be the first one to grab a shovel if they had a good, credible witness. So I said the next time you come here, I want you to bring the RCMP and get the RCMP to give me a search warrant," Pashe said Sunday. …

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