RCMP investigation into Amanda Michayluk's disappearance botched, report says
Amanda Michayluk was found dead on January 11, 2019. The volunteers who found her followed her footprints in the snow.
The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission has questioned the work of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers in relation to the disappearance and death of Amanda Michayluk, a young woman Saskatchewan, in January 2019.
In its final report, the Commission refers to unacceptable behavior on the part of officers and sloppy police work, hampered by narrow-mindedness and stereotypes.
On January 9, Amanda Michayluk, 34, had accompanied her father in search of firewood. Their home near Maidstone, about two hours northwest of Saskatoon, was heated with wood.
When their vehicle got stuck in the snow around 11:30 p.m., the young woman decided to walk home. His father ended up unlocking the truck and driving home. Noting the absence of his daughter, he called the police around 2:47 a.m. and asked for a search and rescue team, taking care to explain the road conditions, impassable due to snowfall of 1 meter, indicates the report of the monitoring committee.
However, the report claims that officers who responded to calls for help from the family relied on stereotypes and conducted an inadequate ground search.
The President of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, Michelaine Lahaie, believes in the report that there were many shortcomings in the RCMP search for missing Amanda Michayluk.
During the family's interview, Kelly Brennan, one of the two officers dispatched on January 10, noted that Amanda Michayluk frequented bars extensively and assumed that x27;she had left with a friend.
The family told officers that Amanda Michayluk had two young children and would not have abandoned them.
Officer Kalen Henderson, for his part, suggested he doubted Amanda Michayluk and her father went out to collect firewood when the weather was this bad, the Commission says.
< p class="e-p">The watchdog says officers were also unclear about the time zones in the area, confusion that may have contributed to disrupting the progress of the investigation, in particular to understand when and where a call came from from his mobile phone.
According to the report, officers felt that a search at night would be too dangerous. The detachment finally issued a missing persons notice on January 11 at approximately 1:45 p.m., 35 hours after the 911 call.
On the same day, around 1 p.m., the body of the young woman was found by a volunteer search team not linked to the police, in a farmer's field, just 4 km from the place where she had been seen for the last time. The volunteers followed in the footsteps of the young woman in the snow. An autopsy concluded that she died of hypothermia.
Although we will never know for sure, it is possible that she could have been found alive, if it were not for the failings of the RCMP in this case, writes the president of the civilian Commission for the examination and treatment of complaints relating to the RCMP, Michelaine Lahaie.
The report also suggests that police assumptions about the ethnicity of Amanda Michayluk, who was not, however, Métis, may have influenced their approach to her disappearance.
RCMP denies there may have been discrimination, but admits a search and rescue team should have been dispatched and a missing person report should have been released much sooner.
RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki has acknowledged the validity of 13 of the Commission's 14 recommendations and agrees with 24 of the report's 26 findings.
She added that the recommendations supported by the RCMP have had a follow-up
RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki accepted most of the recommendations made by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission.
Commission recommends sanctions against the ;against the officers involved, under the RCMP Code of Conduct. These disciplinary sanctions can range from loss of pay to dismissal.
RCMP Local Command believes it is quite appropriate to deal with this matter as part of the performance process, which includes operational guidelines.
The National Police Federation, the union representing RCMP officers, for its part called the report biased and one-sided.
< p class="e-p">In its conclusions, the Commission's report recommends the creation of a council for the code of ethics, in order to remedy any shortcomings.
Amanda Michayluk had two sons, who are now 11 and 10.
With information from Catharine Tunney