By Kenneth Jackson
APTN National News
The Ontario Provincial Police recently wrapped up a nearly three year review of their missing and murdered women files looking for links to determine if someone is, or has been, targeting Indigenous women and girls, APTN National News has learned.
The review reached back to 1957 and focused only on OPP jurisdiction, but after pulling the files investigators determined there are no links between the cases to suggest someone is purposely killing Indigenous women based on the murders the force has investigated.
“The purpose of the pilot project was to determine if there was any linkages, if there was any trends, any patterns … that has not evolved from the review of the data,” said Supt. Dave Truax in an interview with APTN.
The review began in 2010 ending in December and found 40 cases of murdered Indigenous women, 10 of which remain unsolved. A list of the unsolved murders can be found here.
Of the 30 solved murder cases almost all of the victims knew their killer, 14 were domestic and 17 of the same family said Truax. The probe found four outstanding cases of missing Indigenous women between 1957 to 2010.
Truax said another objective was to have a clear idea of OPP files and have them together in one place.
The information is part of a massive RCMP project that has called on police agencies across Canada to open their files to determine the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
APTN reported Wednesday the project has uncovered more than 1,000 cases, shattering any official tally to date.
Truax said the data was shared with the Native Women’s Association of Canada.
He said the OPP looked at national sex registry, police databases, including DNA samples to look for links among the cases.
NWAC came out with a report in 2010 saying their research found nearly 600 cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Just recently an Ottawa researcher determined that number to reach above 800.
The OPP probe also looked at the number of Indigenous men. It found two murder cases and 20 missing cases.
But Truax said they don’t believe all the missing cases to be suspicious.