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'We were all in shock': Family of Morgan Harris relieved to hear work already underway for landfill search

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Shock, speechless and relief. Those are some of the feelings shared by the family of Morgan Harris when they were told by the premier that work is already underway to search the Prairie Green landfill for their relatives' remains.

Harris, Marcedes Myran, Rebecca Contois, and an unknown woman who was given the name Mashkode Bizhiki'ikwe or Buffalo Woman are the four victims of admitted killer Jeremy Skibicki.

It's believed the remains of Harris and Myran were taken to Prairie Green landfill.

The families have been calling for a search of the landfill for two years and on Tuesday, another step was taken to make the search a reality.

"We are going to make good on the commitment that we said that we would search the landfill," Premier Wab Kinew said on Tuesday after announcing preparation work is already underway at the landfill.

Before speaking to media, Kinew met with the victims' families to go over what was happening.

Melissa Robinson, the cousin of Harris, said she thought it was just going to be another meeting with not a lot of answers.

"We sat down to hear that the work has already actually begun. It was a big relief," said Robinson. "I think we were all in shock."

She said it felt like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders after the news was shared.

For Harris' daughter Elle, she was speechless in the meeting with the premier.

"I wasn't expecting anything going into that. I thought I was going to leave wanting to cry again. I thought I was going to leave not being able to bring my mother home. But it ended up going a completely different way," said Elle.

"I haven't had a good sleep in two years, and last night, I finally had a peaceful sleep. Like I woke up feeling like I had enough sleep, I didn't need to go back to bed."

Robinson noted a healing lodge is already being built at the landfill to help support families and that’s where she plans to be when searching does get underway.

"With everything that we've been through, I don't think it would be a good thing to help with (the search), but our supports want to help with that, our warriors want to do that work," she said.

For her, she said it is important to have the community being the ones involved in the search.

"They're going to understand the importance of it, they're going to do it with love when they're looking for her. So we don't want just anyone. It needs to be out people do it."

Moving forward, Elle said this is a big step that should have been taken a long time ago.

"This is a big thing that's happening, having our landfill searching, having justice come towards us finally," said Elle.

There is more positive news for Elle as she wrote her last high school exam and will be crossing the stage at the end of the month.

She said so many people in her family, including her mom, didn't graduate, so she will do that for all of them.

"I'm going to stand up there for them because they never got to get to the point where I am now, especially my mom. She never got to have what I have now. She didn't have the support that I have now. She didn't get to (go) on her healing journey or her spiritual journey like I have. So I will do that for her."

An official timeline for the entire search process hasn’t been laid out yet. Kinew noted Tuesday there will be five stages to the search, which include setting up search facilities, training workers for the search, identifying the specific search area and expanding the area if needed.

He said the first phase is already completed, which was acquiring the funding and finishing the approval process.

- With files from CTV's Danton Unger

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