Police, family renew calls for information on disappearance of missing Manitoba teen
On the nights Lena Harper can't sleep, she stares out a window in her home on Wasagamack First Nation hoping to one day see her granddaughter walk up the driveway.
It's become a ritual for Harper since Tammy Nattaway, who was 16 at the time, vanished a year ago.
"I would look out the window thinking ... maybe we would see her on the road waving at me saying, 'I'm home,"' Harper said in an interview.
Manitoba RCMP say the teen was last seen in her community of Garden Hill First Nation on July 14, 2020.
Wasagamack, Garden Hill and St. Theresa's Point First Nations are neighbouring communities in the remote Island Lake region in northern Manitoba.
It's not uncommon for residents to go back and forth between the three.
Harper says in recent years Tammy would often stay at her place where she enjoyed hanging out with family and spending time with kids in the area.
Police say the family contacted officers on July 31, 2020, to make an official missing persons report after searches in the three communities were unsuccessful.
Those closest to Tammy say she's a quiet girl who likes listening to music or reading books on her phone. She is the second oldest in a family of nine siblings. Her mother says her daughter is timid.
"She wouldn't run off. She would barely even walk to the convenience store by herself. We always knew where she was. We knew something else was going on," Cecile Stephanie Nattaway said in an RCMP release earlier this month.
Officers have spoken to more than 100 people and searched land and water using helicopters, boats and sonar technology, but there have been no solid leads, said Tara Seel, Manitoba RCMP's media relations officer.
With tips and police searches waning, Mounties decided to renew a request for information on the one-year anniversary of Tammy's disappearance.
"If someone knows something, don't assume that we know it. It could be that piece that we're looking for," Seel said in an interview.
"There's a lot of rumours going around, which we look into of course, but it sure helps when someone calls us directly and tells us what they know."
Police suspect "foul play" in the teen's disappearance, but Seel said officers haven't ruled it a homicide.
Officers have relied on locals to help search the vast area. The communities are surrounded by water and wooded areas, which makes them only accessible by air in the summer and ice road in the winter.
Seel said having community support is important to the investigation. "To have the local knowledge contribute to our grid searching and our methodologies is beyond valuable."
Jack Harper is one of the lead co-ordinators who has organized community-led searches. Most recently, an underwater drone was used to search waterways near Wasagamack.
He said Tammy's disappearance, and the lack of answers, weighs on searchers.
"They sometimes get frustrated. Sometimes I can see some people in those searches can't really concentrate on their home. They're too busy thinking about her," he said.
Harper understands the frustration. He feels it some days, too, but said he won't rest until Tammy is found.
It's not the first time Harper has taken the lead on finding a missing girl.
He was part of the search for Teresa Robinson, 11, when she disappeared after leaving a birthday party in Garden Hill in May 2015. Searchers found her remains in a wooded area. It was initially believed she had been killed by a bear.
But injuries uncovered during an autopsy led to a lengthy homicide investigation that included RCMP collecting hundreds of voluntary DNA samples from males in Garden Hill.
More than 2 1/2 years later, a teen who had given a sample to police admitted he killed the girl while sexually assaulting her.
Harper said he hopes Nattaway's family can get closure soon.
The teen's grandmother is urging anyone with information to come forward. But while Lena Harper hopes to one day see her granddaughter again, she believes the worst has happened.
"We had this feeling last year that she's not with us already. We would like to do a proper burial for her."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2021.
Winnipeg Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
After the most expensive election in Canadian history resulted in little change politically, many are asking whether it was worth the $610-million price tag and where else that money could have been spent.
Inside hospitals across Saskatchewan, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, health-care workers are reporting a worsening crisis, with record-breaking COVID-19 hospitalizations pushing the health-care system to the brink.
Long-term care outbreaks are rising, and provinces have different strategies for keeping COVID-19 out
As the fourth wave continues across Canada and community spread climbs, outbreaks are also on the rise inside Canada’s long-term care homes, leading experts to stress the importance of staff being vaccinated — an issue which varies province to province.
The boyfriend of Gabby Petito, whose body was found at a national park in Wyoming after a cross-country trip with him, was charged with unauthorized use of a debit card as searchers continued looking for him Thursday in Florida swampland.
British actor Tom Felton, known for his portrayal of Draco Malfoy in the 'Harry Potter' movies, collapsed while playing a celebrity golf exhibition Thursday at the Ryder Cup.
Canadian fashion model Linda Evangelista says she's been left 'permanently deformed' from a cosmetic procedure that she had approximately five years ago.
The corporate entities of SNC-Lavalin Inc. and SNC-Lavalin International Inc., as well as two former senior executives of the Quebec-based firms have been charged with a series of fraud and forgery offences by the RCMP.
Canada saw only a slight increase in the volume of foreign nationals entering the country in the first week after the border opened to those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
An Ontario mother, who had been holding a one-woman protest for the past week to try to get help with her son's autism care, will finally have her file looked at after a call from the social services minister.
Saskatchewan broke COVID-19 hospitalization records again on Thursday, reporting 273 patients in hospital with 58 in intensive care.
Saskatoon City Council will look at a committee recommendation to allow parking patios to operate through the winter, making them a year-round amenity.
A Saskatoon judge has ruled in favor allowing a father to have his child vaccinated despite the mother being opposed to her child getting the shot.
'Unbelievably heartbreaking': Sask. nurse left waiting for transplant as province suspends organ donation program
Krystal Graham has been on the liver transplant waitlist for about a year. Now, she says she is concerned COVID-19 will delay her life-saving surgery even longer.
The Melville Millionaires have postponed hockey games until further notice after a positive COVID-19 case associated with the team.
Six-year-old Nygah Eashappie is pretty subdued about his newfound fame. The Regina boy is the latest to model in advertisements for local clothing brand; 22Fresh.
Alberta reported 1,660 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 new deaths on Thursday.
Alberta Health is investigating whether an Edson party advertising itself as a “get COVID” event to build up natural immunity to the virus actually happened.
Some Calgary businesses say while the new city vaccination bylaw doesn't change what they do, it does ease some of the pressure on front line staff.
Alberta reported 1,660 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 new deaths on Thursday.
Two men were rushed to hospital after an apparent drive-by shooting in south Edmonton Thursday night.
While five front-running mayoral candidates faced off in a forum Thursday afternoon, the other candidate, Mike Nickel, was serving hot dogs in the parking lot of his campaign office.
An Ontario man who had a faulty gas metre and racked up at $1,000 bill says was shocked when the was told he would still have to pay the bill.
Someone in Ontario won more than $21 million in Wednesday’s LOTTO 6/49 draw but has yet to check their ticket.
Unvaccinated MPPs could be prevented from entering Queen’s Park when the legislature resumes in October unless they get tested for COVID-19.
After just a few hours of debate, Quebec's National Assembly voted unanimously Thursday evening to pass a new bill that would prohibit anti-vaccine protesters from demonstrating near schools, daycares, and hospitals -- an offence punishable by a fine of up to $12,000.
Quebec kids were at the heart of a heated exchange Thursday over language laws -- specifically, English-speaking kids and whether they're really leaving school with functional French.
Amid major staff shortages, Quebec will cut large cheques to health-care workers in a bid to strengthen a public network put under serious pressure by the pandemic.
Officers were sent to the home on Rue Dunkerque in Aylmer, Que. just after 2 p.m. Wednesday to carry out a "well-being check."
The hospital has announced that starting Monday, it will require proof of vaccination for visitors entering the hospital.
As of Wednesday, 95 per cent of employees at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre have met the first dose requirement.
An investigation into the shooting of a white cow moose in northern Ontario last fall has been closed and officials say no charges will be laid.
A 17-year-old from Greater Sudbury has been charged with attempted murder in connection with the stabbing of a woman downtown last week.
CTV News has learned Timmins police have a suspect in custody after one person was killed and two others were injured in a shooting in Schumacher overnight.
The first twenty-four hours following New Brunswick's rollout of new pandemic restrictions have been rocky for some of the businesses tasked with enforcing the new rules.
Health officials in Nova Scotia are reporting the province’s 95th death related to COVID-19, along with 41 new cases and 20 recoveries on Thursday, as the number of active cases in the province rises to 147.
Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting 52 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, along with 35 recoveries, as the number of active cases in the province rises to 574.
A former Kitchener MP has pleaded guilty to assault charges.
Although many businesses in Waterloo Region say the vaccine certificate program has been running smoothly so far, they're prepared for that to change.
Former Nazi death-squad member Helmut Oberlander has died in the midst of his Canadian deportation hearing.
A possible loophole in B.C.’s vaccine card registration system is making the rounds on social media.
The Vancouver Canucks are banking on the capacity limits at Rogers Arena being lifted in time for the regular season home opener.
In a significant upset, the long-time Conservative incumbent in Richmond Centre has lost her seat to a political newcomer, according to the CTV News Decision Desk.
The cases were among 832 new cases found in B.C. over the past 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health.
The president of the Cedar Hill Golf Club says a report from District of Saanich staff recommending changes to the operation df Cedar Hill Golf Course will hurt the club and its members.
Health officials on Vancouver Island have declared clusters of COVID-19 at four more schools in the South Island. There are now five active clusters at schools in the region.