Skip to main content

Manitoba pausing operations at landfill where alleged serial killer's victims are believed to be

WARNING: The details in this article may be disturbing to some viewers. Discretion is advised.

A landfill north of Winnipeg where the remains of two victims of an alleged serial killer are believed to be located will pause operations.

Premier Heather Stefanson and Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham announced Thursday that the Prairie Green Landfill will pause operations at the request of the province, in response to the deaths of four Indigenous women.

Winnipeg police previously said investigators believe the remains of Morgan Beatrice Harris, 39, and Marcedes Myran, 26, are in this landfill, but said a search for them would not be feasible.

Stefanson said the landfill will not be accepting anything else, in the meantime, while officials work to figure out next steps in the investigation.

“We don’t want to presuppose what that may be and what comes out of that,” Stefanson said. “I think it’s very important that for right now, we take this pause, and we get this right.”

“Today is about the province and the city coming together to try and recognize the need the families have, and to work with Indigenous communities, as well as Indigenous leaders, and assist them in the next steps of this horrific tragedy,” Gillingham said.

Stefanson said the RM of Rosser and the owners of Prairie Green Landfill are cooperating with the pause.

Jeremy Anthony Michael Skibicki is accused of killing four Indigenous women –Harris, Myran, Rebecca Contois and an unidentified woman that Indigenous leaders have called Buffalo Woman - between March and May of this year.

He is facing four counts of first-degree murder. The charges have not been proven in court.

Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth said there were several reasons for why the search wouldn’t be feasible, citing the passage of time, the fact that 10,000 truckloads of refuse were dumped in the area in the following months, and that trash at the landfill is compacted with heavy mud about 12 metres deep.

The decision has been criticized, with First Nations advocates, communities and family members of Harris calling on Smyth to resign.

"The message you are sending to the greater community is that Indigenous don't matter," Chief Kyra Wilson of Long Plain First Nation said during a press conference Thursday in Ottawa. "That if somebody wants to hurt our women that they can dump them in the landfill and no one will look for them."

"We are all trying to reach a reasonable compromise, but we have yet to receive words of acknowledgment, response nor agreements," Kera Harris, the daughter of Morgan Harris, said Thursday. "Not only have you refused to search these landfills, you have presented no alternative routes for how we can give these women peace."

Winnipeg city councillor Markus Chambers, who chairs the Winnipeg Police Board, said the investigation is an emotional one.

“The (Indigenous) community has just come through the residential school system and the unmarked graves. We have to be sensitive to that, and that’s exactly where we are right now in requesting this pause,” he said.

Chambers said he was meeting with Smyth later in the afternoon about the investigation.

 With files from The Canadian Press.


There is a support line available for those impacted by missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ2S+ people: 1-844-413-6649.

Additional mental-health and community-based emotional support and cultural services are also available through the federal government. Top Stories

PM pans Poilievre for 'pulling stunts' by threatening to delay MPs' holidays with House tactics

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is threatening to delay MPs' holidays by throwing up thousands of procedural motions seeking to block Liberal legislation until Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backs off his carbon tax. It's a move Government House Leader Karina Gould was quick to condemn, warning the Official Opposition leader's 'temper tantrum' tactics will impact Canadians.

Stay Connected