Winnipeg police looking to speak with anyone who knew Jana Williams

Winnipeg Police say they have more questions than answers when it comes to the death of Jana Williams and investigators are pleading for more information surrounding her whereabouts prior to her death.

“This is somebody that was loved by the community, by members of her family, and it’s incredibly important that anybody who has information that can help us with this investigation come forward,” Cst. Jay Murray told reporters Monday morning.

Williams’ remains were found in Winnipeg’s North End on Mar. 4.

Police are investigating her death as a homicide.

Her family said she was about six months pregnant at the time of her death.

Police believe the 28-year-old was killed at another location before being moved.

“We know that someone was involved with the disposal of her body. That much is for sure,” said Murray.

“I don’t like to use the word disposal. I struggled with another word to use but when the facts of this case come out I feel that it is the most accurate word to use unfortunately,” he added.

Jana Williams

Police wouldn’t release cause of death or say when she died, but they believe it was sometime last month.

Investigators are looking for information from the homeless community.

“It’s likely the she was somewhat transient over those two weeks. That can create some challenges for our investigators,” said Murray. “So we’re asking for members of the public to share this information with anyone that lives within the transient community.”

Meanwhile on Sunday evening, a vigil was organized at the site where Williams’ remains were found.

Alaya McIvor, an advocate for missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit, organized the event.

She spoke candidly about the impact these vigils have on community members.

“It’s really hard doing this almost every second week and it’s been continuous even with posting our sisters online missing every second or third day,” she told reporters.

“When is it going to stop? When are we going to be safe?”

A memorial was set up at the site. Attendees shared memories and words of hope and support for Williams’ family.

“My love goes out to the family…we are there with you. We will walk with you, we will struggle with you, we will cry with you [and] we will fight for you,” said Nahanni Fontaine, an advocate and NDP MLA.

“Jana deserves to be honoured and loved, and deserves justice.”

Police are urging anyone with information about Jana Williams to call the homicide unit at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-8477.

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