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Woman whose body was found in Winnipeg landfill climbed into bin before it was taken to dump: police

Winnipeg police say foul play is not suspected in the death of a 33-year-old woman whose body was found in a city landfill on Monday, but Linda Mary Beardy's family says they're not happy with that news and want a more thorough investigation.

Family expresses disappointment after police say foul play not suspected in death of Linda Mary Beardy

A woman in a black t-shirt sits on a rainbow-coloured blanket draped over a brown couch.

A 33-year-old woman whose body was found in a Winnipeg landfill on Monday was seen climbing into a commercial garbage bin that same day, and was not seen getting out before the bin was emptied by a garbage truck and taken to the dump, Winnipeg Police Service Chief Danny Smyth said at a Thursday news conference.

Smyth said investigators remain open to pursuing any other information that might come in from the public about Linda Mary Beardy's activity before she was seen getting into the bin, but "right now there is no evidence to support homicide."

"I'll sum up this way: this is a tragedy," Smyth said. "It's garnered a lot of attention and concern across the country. And investigators and WPS personnel, they've worked around the clock to try to find some answers here."

A portion of a statement released late Thursday night attributed to Beardy's family says they are saddened police aren't investigating her death as a homicide.

"We believe that a more fulsome investigation must take place and an opportunity for all tips to be followed up with," the statement from the family reads. "There are many unresolved questions that must be answered."

"We also believe that they have not been transparent in the dissemination of information."

Staff at the city's Brady Road Resource Management Facility discovered Beardy's remains there on Monday afternoon, police said on Tuesday. Police said at that point they considered the circumstances around her death suspicious, but hadn't classified it as a homicide.

An autopsy done Tuesday confirmed she sustained injuries consistent with what would result from being stuck inside a garbage bin as it was handled by a truck, Smyth said.

While there's still no cause of death from the medical examiner, he said none of Beardy's injuries suggest foul play. Toxicology tests will take more time to complete, Smyth said, but "we're satisfied that this is not a homicide."

Smyth said police wanted to provide an update on the situation in light of the amount of attention Beardy's death has garnered. Police spoke with the woman's family before making the announcement, he said.

"We've made a commitment to the family to walk them through the investigation when they're ready, and we will share with them everything that we discovered," he said.

Beardy was a member of Lake St. Martin First Nation and a mother of four. The chief of Lake St. Martin, Christopher Traverse, spoke at a separate news conference after Smyth's, but declined to comment on the police update as the investigation is ongoing.

Help from public

Investigators got several tips from the public that helped them piece together Beardy's activity in the hours before her body was found, the police chief said.

They were able to positively identify her as a person seen going into a store in the 2200 block of Pembina Highway, which is near the University of Manitoba. Smyth said Beardy lived in the area "fairly recently."

Through video surveillance, she was then seen leaving the store alone and climbing into a nearby garbage bin shortly after 11 a.m. Monday, he said.

There was "some activity" seen within the open bin, but that activity stopped after a short period of time, said Smyth. He said police don't know what Beardy was doing in the bin, but she was not seen climbing out of it at any time.

Just after 2 p.m., a commercial truck was seen picking up the same bin and emptying its contents into the back. The truck then went to the Brady Road landfill and emptied its contents there. Beardy's body was discovered shortly after, Smyth said.

Police are still open to receiving any information that could help track her activity before she went to the store and "shed some light on her last day," he said.

While police said on Tuesday that operations at the landfill were paused while investigators worked there, Smyth said investigators now have no reason to hold the area in the landfill where Beardy's body was found, though the decision to reopen the dump is up to the city.

The City of Winnipeg said in a statement on Thursday that the dump will remain closed until further notice.

Calls to search landfill

The discovery of Beardy's body came months after the landfill was closed for several weeks amid protests calling for a site-wide search for the remains of missing people.

The partial remains of Rebecca Contois, one of four Indigenous women who police say were all killed by the same man, were found there last June.

Police believe Jeremy Skibicki also killed Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran, and that their remains were taken to the privately run Prairie Green landfill north of Winnipeg.

The federal government committed $500,000 in February for a study on the feasibility of searching that site.

Police said investigators still don't know the location of the remains of a fourth woman who they believe was also killed by Skibicki. She has still not been identified, but community members have given her the name Mashkode Bizhiki'ikwe, or Buffalo Woman.

Skibicki's lawyer said late last year his client plans to plead not guilty to the four counts of first-degree murder he's charged with.

Foul play not suspected in death of 33-year-old Linda Mary Beardy, Winnipeg police chief says

8 hours ago

Duration 18:12

A 33-year-old woman whose body was found in a Winnipeg landfill on Monday was seen climbing into a commercial garbage bin that same day, and was not seen getting out before the bin was emptied by a garbage truck and taken to the dump, Winnipeg Police Service Chief Danny Smyth said at a Thursday news conference.


Caitlyn Gowriluk has been writing for CBC Manitoba since 2019. Her work has also appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press, and in 2021 she was part of an award-winning team recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association for its breaking news coverage of COVID-19 vaccines. Get in touch with her at caitlyn.gowriluk@cbc.ca.

Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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