Despite extensive search efforts both Manitoba RCMP and community members, no one has been able to locate 16-year-old Tammy Nattaway, who was last seen one month ago in the northern Manitoba community of Garden Hill First Nation.
RCMP are now making a public plea for any information or tips on her disappearance or whereabouts.
“Right now we’re treating this as a missing person investigation. We don’t believe any foul play is involved,” Sgt. Paul Manaigre told reporters Thursday.
“We’re hoping we get information that will lead to her being found safely.”
Garden Hill is one of four communities that make up the Island Lake region. In the summer it is only accessible by air; for this reason RCMP believe Nattaway is still in the area.
“Someone must know where she is or where she went. We need them to come forward and help,” said Manaigre.
RCMP say the teen was last seen by a family member in the community on July 20.
Nattaway has not been active on social media since her disappearance.
Officers have conducted door-to-door searches in Garden Hill and the neighbouring community of Wasagamack First Nation.
Surrounding brush and local waterways were also searched. Specialized underwater cameras have been sent to Island Lake RCMP to help with waterway searches.
Manaigre says searching the surrounding area has been challenging.
“You have a territory that is vast with varying degrees of dense brush, tall grasses [and] a lot of waterways.”
Community members formed their own search efforts shortly after Nattaway was reported missing.
Mark Barkman, director of operations for Garden Hill, told APTN News when word got out the teen was missing members took to social media first.
“We used Facebook and also our local radio station to say if you have any information regarding her to call home,” Barkman said.
Volunteer search groups formed to scour the ground and bodies of water. Members in Wasagamack and St. Theresa Point First Nation have been doing the same.
The groups have been doing this daily and say they will continue to do so until Nattaway is found.
“We are not going to give up. We will continue and bring home Tammy Nattaway,” said Barkman.
Barkman adds leadership has monitored records for people travelling in and out of the community, and believe it is unlikely the teen could have left by plane.
Garden Hill is offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to finding Nattaway.
Anyone who may have seen Nattaway or has information on her disappearance can contact Island Lake RCMP at 204-456-2626 or provides tips online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.