A young girl leaves home and disappears. She's either never seen again or her body is eventually discovered in the river or in some secluded location. Pleas for help to nail down her last movements go unanswered. She's usually aboriginal.
This week it's the story of 17-year-old Tiffany Skye. RCMP say she was last known to be alive on Monday, August 8, 2011. Five days later, Saturday, Aug. 13, her body was recovered from the Red River near Lockport.
Police quickly determined who she was but an autopsy Aug. 16 failed to disclose a cause of death. Read that again.
She didn't drown. Which means they don't know how she died and how she wound up in the river.
Police then began adding some of the mystery to her disappearance.
They waited at least 10 days after she was found to release her identity to the press. They didn't give out her name until five days after she was buried. When they did, they gave out details of her last known whereabouts that were so obtuse they made no sense.
"Tiffany Skye was last reported to have been in the area of the Forks or Downtown Winnipeg on the afternoon or evening of Monday, August 8, 2011."
Huh? She was either here or there sometime after 12 noon? What the hell are you talking about?
The first mystery is why police can't communiciate with people.
It took Tiffany's mother to do the job of the police and to provide an intelligible answer to when Tiffany was last known to be alive.
She told the Winnipeg Sun that "(o)ne of her other daughters got a text message from Tiffany the night she went missing saying she was out with her “bros”.
So the RCMP know the exact hour that Tiffany (or somebody using her cell phone and pretending to be her) texted her sister. Can't they use technology to determine the location of the phone?
We'll leave the technological questions to them. But it's the reference to her "bros" that may help dispel some of the mystery surrounding Tiffany's disappearance and death.
Two years before her disappearance, Tiffany Skye was a member of Bebo, a social networking website popular with Winnipeg gang members and their associates.
Her site profile is titled Fuck A Bitch.
Her personal information begins:
Me, Myself, and I
'' Tiffany maureen Skye
is the name..
i♥nOrthSide fUk tha west.
Northside is one of the violent aboriginal street gangs plaguing Winnipeg and 15-year-old Tiffany (as she was then) was pledging her support.
I keep it G and that's a Promise.
I may be a Bitch, but at least I'm
I keep it G means I keep it Gangsta.
Tiffany's mother said her daughter was in a foster home from the time she was an infant until her mid-teens. That means she left the foster home when she was 15 or 16, exactly the time she was professing her allegiance to thug life.
Her connections to the aboriginal gang world go deeper still. Her brother is Isaac Skye, or Isaac Skye-Young as he once wrote it. He was 36 in 2010 when Tiffany last posted on Bebo.
He also had a Bebo page.
His profile declares his colour preference:
"black and red and white all ip colors".
He posted his artwork (below)
And homemade posters.
Which is very ironic.
Because, you see, Tiffany and Isaac Skye are cousins of Nathan Starr, the 14-year-old boy who was killed in a fire on Mountain Avenue in 2007 which was set deliberately by two members of the Indian Posse street gang. They were trying to burn out some rival drug dealers but torched the wrong house.
Issac obviously doesn't hold a grudge. And his family is now depending on the police, Winnipeg and RCMP, to find out what happened to their Tiffany.
The point is that many of these missing girls are connected and like Tiffany Skye have dark underbellies to their sweet lives. They are heavily connected to the thug life underworld of aboriginal street gangs, which brings with it heavy drug usage and random violence.
The police and the families of these girls do their best to hide this side of the story. And by doing so, they obscure the probable answers to the disappearances.
The answers don't lie with the general community; they will be found in the aboriginal community.
Is anybody looking?