Family tracks down daughter, 25, reported missing to tell her she’s loved

Dennis Ward
APTN National News
WINNIPEG — Family and friends worried for the safety of Shanastene McLeod took to the streets of Winnipeg’s north end on Tuesday night.

They were hoping the power of community, song and drums would convince the 25 year-old to leave behind her addictions and dangerous lifestyle.

McLeod was reported missing to Winnipeg Police on May 21. She was found days later.

Mother, Heather McLeod said it was “powerful” to see dozens of people come together and search a number of homes in the north end for her daughter.

“Too many girls are out there in prostitution and drugs and it’s sad” said McLeod, adding that something had to be done.

Police were nearby as the group gathered.

A door was kicked in at the first house where McLeod was thought to be inside. Police stepped in and moved people back to the sidewalk shortly after.

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A group search for Shanastene McLeod gathers in Winnipeg’s north end Tuesday night

Police again stepped in when they arrived at another house. The locations are known to have a bad reputation to many in the area.

“Shacks are popping up in every community, it doesn’t matter where it is,” said David Beauchamp, McLeod’s father. “Crack is trying to take over our kids and crystal meth and we’ve got to put a stop to this.”

Beauchamp wanted to find his daughter to tell her he loved her and that her own children need her too.

As the gathering was coming to an end, McLeod came out of a house on the street and hugged her aunt who didn’t want to leave her there.

But McLeod would not leave with her family. She told her Aunt Jackie Traverse that she was “fine” and “never missing.”

Traverse said she was relieved to see her niece was okay, but was disappointed she couldn’t persuade her to leave.

“She’s out on the streets and in these houses where there’s drug use and prostitution” said Traverse, who worried whether McLeod was going to be okay.

McLeod’s aunt isn’t giving up.

“Drugs have such a strong grip but that doesn’t mean you don’t keep trying” said Traverse, who believes more community efforts like this are going to happen.

“We need to take back our girls,” she said.
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Host, Producer / Winnipeg

Dennis is Métis from southern Manitoba. After spending a decade working in TV in Alberta and Ontario, Dennis returned to Manitoba to join APTN’s Winnipeg bureau as a reporter/correspondent in September 2014. In 2016, he won a Canadian Association of Journalists award for his story A Soldier Scorned for APTN Investigates. In 2017, he became a host/producer for APTN National News and Face to Face. In 2020, Dennis and co host Melissa Ridgen were nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best News Anchor, National.

3 thoughts on “Family tracks down daughter, 25, reported missing to tell her she’s loved

  1. Prayers for your families fighting this fight, to know the right thing to do and have the courage to do it….you have my support!

  2. Jackie I feel for you I hope that she will see the light of her dark tunnel and come home, the area is pretty bad for taking sweet innocent girls and turning them against a brighter life.

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