Sunday, May 16, 2010
Human skull found near St. Anne, Manitoba
Police launched an investigation to determine the identity of human remains after a dog uncovered a skull in the rural municipality of Ste. Anne.
RCMP Sgt. Line Karpish said an area resident contacted police late Thursday after his dog found a human skull on his farm. Karpish said officers from the major crime unit in Winnipeg were dispatched, along with members of the search and rescue unit to comb the property for any further evidence of remains.
"They came in to do a more extensive search and did end up finding more bones. So then our identification unit became involved," Karpish said.
At the scene on Saturday, ribbons of red tape were woven between trees and dense brush that line the road, which runs through the Lilac campground and looks onto the Trans-Canada Highway. Neighbours peeped out at media from behind their fences.
The discovery prompted area residents to speculate the bones could belong to Christine Jack, a 33-year-old mother of two who disappeared from her home in Winnipeg's St. Vital neighbourhood on Dec. 17, 1988.
At that time, police searched the same area in Ste. Anne after residents said they saw someone driving a vehicle similar to Jack's the night of her disappearance. Her body was never found.
Jack's husband, former Winnipeg Blue Bomber receiver Brian Jack, was charged with his wife's murder but ultimately walked free following three high-profile trials and a decision by the Supreme Court of Canada that he couldn't be tried again.
Area resident Craig Ross said neighbours are already discussing the possibility the skeletal remains could be Christine Jack's.
"It's in the back of my mind and she hasn't been found," Ross said. "You're always hoping the family could get some kind of closure."
Karpish said RCMP received multiple calls from people inquiring about possible connections with the Jack case.
"That's all it is, it's speculation. It could be anybody," she said.
"We do have some missing people, but we don't know that.
"We're going to find out who that person is and hopefully the post-mortem will give us some answers."
An autopsy is scheduled for Monday. Investigators may have to use DNA or dental records to identify the skull and bones, Karpish said.
She said it's impossible to tell whether the remains have been there since last fall or for years.
She said speculation the remains belong to Jack could cause her family grief if they are found to belong to somebody else.
"We're still in the early stages of the investigation," she said.