RCMP apol­o­gize for poor in­ves­ti­ga­tion

The Prince George Citizen - - News -

The com­mand­ing of­fi­cer of the RCMP in Al­berta has apol­o­gized to the fam­ily of an Indige­nous woman who dis­ap­peared nine years ago and whose killer has never been found.

Am­ber Tuc­caro was 20 years old in Au­gust 2010 when she flew to Ed­mon­ton from her home in Fort Mc­Mur­ray, Alta., and booked into a ho­tel near the air­port.

The woman from the Mikisew Cree Na­tion caught a ride into the city with a man the next day and was never seen alive again.

Her skull was found in a wooded area two years later.

An in­de­pen­dent fed­eral re­view re­leased in 2018 found that the Le­duc de­tach­ment’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion of her dis­ap­pear­ance was de­fi­cient.

“I fully ac­knowl­edge that in the early days of our in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Am­ber’s dis­ap­pear­ance that it re­quired a bet­ter sense of ur­gency and care,” Deputy Com­mis­sioner Cur­tis Zablocki told Tuc­caro’s fam­ily Thurs­day at RCMP head­quar­ters in Ed­mon­ton.

“Our Le­duc de­tach­ment’s miss­ing per­son in­ves­ti­ga­tion was not our best work and was not in line with our es­tab­lished prac­tices, pro­ce­dures and guide­lines.

“At the be­gin­ning of this in­ves­ti­ga­tion the RCMP was not the po­lice ser­vice we strive to be.

On be­half of the RCMP, I am truly sorry.“Af­ter his apol­ogy, Tuc­caro’s fam­ily un­veiled a new poster urg­ing any­one with in­for­ma­tion on the case to con­tact po­lice.

“To­day I don’t know how I feel. I re­ally don’t,” said Tuc­caro’s mother, Toot­sie Tuc­caro. “I’m an­gry. I’m hurt. I’m just messed up.

“But ... like Am­ber al­ways told me, ‘You got this, mama,’ and I do.”

Am­ber Tuc­caro flew to Ed­mon­ton with her 14-month-old son and a fe­male friend. The next day, po­lice said, she left her ho­tel room to catch a ride into Ed­mon­ton and got into an un­known man’s ve­hi­cle.

In 2012, po­lice re­leased a cell­phone record­ing be­tween Tuc­caro and the man who gave her a ride.

“You’d bet­ter not be tak­ing me any­where I don’t want to go,” Tuc­caro can be heard telling the man. “I want to go into the city.”

In Septem­ber 2012, a group of horse­back rid­ers dis­cov­ered a skull in a wooded area in a field on a ru­ral prop­erty near Le­duc, Alta. It was iden­ti­fied through den­tal records as Tuc­caro’s.

Her brother, Paul Tuc­caro, tes­ti­fied at the na­tional in­quiry into miss­ing and mur­dered Indige­nous women and girls dur­ing its hear­ings in Ed­mon­ton. Sound­ing baf­fled and hurt, he spent two hours de­scrib­ing a lack­adaisi­cal RCMP in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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