Edmonton Police highlight case of missing Indigenous woman in river valley search

Police use annual search to raise awareness about missing Indigenous woman case of Jeannine Ermineskin, 38.


Edmonton police used its annual search of the North Saskatchewan River to bring attention to a Jeannine Ermineskin, a missing Indigenous woman in the city. Ermineskin has been missing since January 2022.

“We have continued to actively search for Jeannine, throughout the year here, so today is another step, or another portion in that investigation to search for Jeannine, and we are asking for the public’s help to raise the profile in that investigation once again,” says Inspector Brent Dahlseide with the Edmonton police.

Ermineskin is described as an Indigenous female who stands 5’8” with blue eyes, long blond hair, and thin build.

Jeannine Ermineskin, 38 was last seen in Jan. 22

She was 38 at the time of her disappearance, and was last seen wearing a black jacket, black pants, and a red and white scarf. She was last seen on Jan. 6, 2022, and is known to frequent the downtown core in Edmonton.

“We’ve continued to look actively for Janine throughout the year here. So today is another step in that investigation to try to locate Jeannine. And we’re asking for the public’s help to raise that profile of that investigation again,” says Dahlseide.

Police and volunteers search Edmonton river valley

Edmonton Fire search and rescue backing up boat into river for annual search

The Edmonton Police Service, joined with volunteer searchers and members of the fire department performed a search of the North Saskatchewan River valley this Wednesday.

The search, called Project Mobilize, has been ongoing for ten years and Edmonton Fire Rescue, Parkland search and rescue join along with the Canadian Search Dog Association and the Edmonton Regional Search Dog Association.

“The whole search itself is to locate any known or unknown remains found in the river here. So these might be missing persons that we’ve got reported to us as well as any that were unreported,” says Dahlseide.

The search usually takes place in the fall when the river levels are at their lowest. The searchers move in a grid pattern to avoid covering the same area.

“The search covers a 75 km region, including the river banks and the wooded areas along the river,” says Dahlseide.

Park rangers are also on site and use drones to cover the search area and assist with the physical land search.

Search is an important step in missing persons investigations

Lucy Swain has volunteered for the search for four years

“The North Saskatchewan is a major river that flows through many communities, and unfortunately, that does mean that human remains are recovered from the river and its environs each year,” says Sgt. Rebecca Wright, with the EPS Missing Persons Unit.

“While we never want to rule out any outcomes, we do have to consider the possibility that a missing person may be deceased,” says Wright. “Unfortunately, searching for remains is one of the investigative tasks we have to complete.”

Lucy Swain, one of the volunteers out searching says she has participated for four years in this search and rescue effort. She is motivated to come out a search to support the families of missing people.

“It is 100 per cent for the families, just to help bring closure and some answers to then,” says Swain.

Anyone with information about Jeannine Ermineskin or any missing person is asked to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.

 

Online journalist / Edmonton

Danielle is a Métis writer, journalist, editor, educator, and podcaster who lives in Treaty 6 (Edmonton, Alberta). She has written for both local and international audiences. You can read (or hear) her work at Canadaland, Chatelaine, Toronto Star (Edmonton), Gig City, BUSTLE, Canadian True Crime Podcast, The Sprawl and now APTN News. Danielle covers politics, arts and culture, and Indigenous Issues.

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