Little hope of finding bodies in landfill after 60 days, study finds

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Little hope of finding bodies in dump after 60 days, study finds

Police believe the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran are at the Prairie Green Landfill in the Rural Municipality of Rosser, in Manitoba.

A comprehensive study suggests that there is almost no hope of finding human remains in a dump if they have been there for more than two months. The recovery rate is 43% when the search is made within one month of the arrival of the body.

A search should not be undertaken if more than 60 days occur. have passed, believe the co-authors of this 2019 study, Kimberlee Sue Moran, a forensic archaeologist, and Brian Paulsen, former chief of police in Plattsmouth, United States.

These findings are particularly relevant as the Manitoba government and law enforcement organizations plan to search the Prairie Green landfill, north of Winnipeg, in an attempt to locate the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes. Myran.

Winnipeg police believe the two aboriginal women were killed by suspected serial killer Jeremy Skibicki. Their remains were reportedly deposited in the dump sometime in May, more than seven months ago.

Investigators say they reached this conclusion on June 20, but they do not disclosed it publicly only in December.

Police initially said a search was not possible, but voices have been raised demanding a search in Prairie Green.

Manitoba Premier and Winnipeg Mayor announced on December 8 that activities at the landfill had been suspended following these appeals.

Protesters outside the Prairie Green landfill in Winnipeg demanded that more digs be undertaken there early this month.

Last week, the federal government pledged to foot the bill for a feasibility study on d' possible searches at the Prairie Green dump.

Protesters, including families and loved ones of murder victims, recently blocked the Brady Road landfill near Winnipeg and demanded searches at that other location for the bodies of other missing people. .

Part of the remains of Rebecca Contois, another alleged victim of Mr. Skibicki, was found there in June.

Published in the journal Forensic Archeology, the January 2019 study identified 46 searches for bodies in US dumpsites between 1999 and 2009. Of these, 20 were successful.

More 90% of recoveries occurred within this "magic" time window 30 days, says Paulsen. The searches took an average of 17 days.

Factors that can impede an investigation include the elapsed time, resources, weather conditions and potential dangers searchers could face, adds the author.

In general, success also depends on the ability of burial site managers to accurately determine where the remains may have been deposited.

A dump truck dumps trash at the Prairie Green landfill, north of Winnipeg, where the bodies of several Indigenous women may be.

It depends on the quality of the outfit landfill records and whether or not garbage trucks have a GPS tracking system.

This tracking is paramount. But it's only a starting point and it's going slowly, very slowly, assures Brian Paulsen.

This study is the only major research on the feasibility of landfill research done in North America.

The probability of finding the bodies is not the only element to be taken into account in determining the need for a search, according to Thomas McAfee, special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“There are usually a lot of emotions involved […]. Investigators want to do the best they can for victims and their families. They want to take them home. »

— Thomas McAfee, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent

Left to right: Morgan Beatrice Harris, Marcedes Myran and Rebecca Contois, three alleged victims of suspected serial killer Jeremy Skibicki.

Police announced on December 1 that Jeremy Skibicki was charged with murder in the first degree for the deaths of Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran and an unidentified woman, nicknamed Buffalo Woman.

A few months earlier, he had been charged with that of Rebecca Contois .

The charges have not yet gone to trial. Mr. Skibicki's attorney said he intends to plead not guilty to all four charges of first degree murder.

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