Community members are mourning the death of a woman who was the victim of what police describe as a ‘horrifically grisly’ homicide.
Police are investigating the death and fear there could be more victims.
Dozens gathered for a candlelight vigil Thursday evening outside an apartment building on Edison Avenue in North Kildonan, an area where police said partial human remains were discovered Monday morning.
The victim has been identified as 24-year-old Rebecca Contois. Those close to the family told CTV News that Contois was a mother.
Rebecca Contois is pictured in an undated image. ( Source:Facebook/Darryl Contois)
“No more stolen sisters. We want to stop this. There are too many out there that are missing,” said Darryl Contois, a community advocate who organized the vigil.
Const. Rob Carver described the area as a “horrifically grisly scene,” and said somebody in the area discovered Contois.
Police believe she was killed recently somewhere in the area where she was found. Police could be seen examining a nearby garbage bin Thursday. Officers said the circumstances of the discovery are ultimately what led investigators to start searching the Brady Road Landfill.
“We have officers on scene at Brady and we’ve been trying to secure a scene there, a potential scene there and any evidence we might locate there,” Carver told reporters. “That is going to be a long ongoing operation.”
Investigators arrested 35-year-old Jeremy Anthony Michael Skibicki Wednesday. He has been charged with first-degree murder and has been detained in custody. The charge has not been proven in court.
Carver said police have executed a search warrant at Skibicki’s residence, which is located in the area. He said police have identified another potential scene at the Brady Road landfill, and officers are investigating in the area.
He added due to the circumstances surrounding the homicide, “Police have not ruled out the possibility of additional victims.”
“There are things that are leading investigators to look at that as a potential possibility for sure,” Carver said, adding he was unable to give more details.
Area resident Deborah Hastings said police came knocking on her door the morning Contois’ partial remains were found as officers searched for clues. She said her focus right now is on the family’s well-being.
“That’s so sad. Such a young life taken. She doesn’t even have a chance now,” Hastings said. “I pray for the family. I do pray for the family.”
Dozens gathered for a candlelight vigil Thursday evening outside an apartment building on Edison Avenue in North Kildonan, an area where police said partial human remains were discovered Monday morning. (Source: Danton Unger/ CTV News Winnipeg)
During the vigil Thursday, the group prayed and sang as they mourned Contois’ death, and demanded action so no other women would become victims.
“Anytime we lose any of our Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit and gender-diverse people, it is very tragic to the community and devastating to the family,” Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, the chair of the national family and survivor circle, who was at the vigil.
“It is really powerful when the community gathers and supports the family during such a difficult time.”
Contois’ family has asked for privacy.
-with files from CTV’s Danton Unger
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