WINNIPEG — Police allege a Winnipeg man charged with killing an Indigenous woman last May also killed three other women — two also confirmed to be Indigenous and one believed to be.
Jeremy Skibicki was charged on May 18 and kept in custody after the partial remains of Rebecca Contois, 24, were found in a garbage bin near an apartment building. Police later found the rest of her remains in a Winnipeg landfill. Contois lived in Winnipeg but was a member of O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nation, also known as Crane River.
Police said at the time that they were not ruling out more victims. On Thursday, they said Skibicki is now charged with first-degree murder in three other deaths in the same period in the spring.
Police said Morgan Beatrice Harris, 39, and Marcedes Myran, 26, were killed in the first week of May. Both women lived in Winnipeg and were members of Long Plain First Nation.
Police also said a fourth woman, unidentified but believed to be Indigenous, is thought to have been killed on or about March 15, 2022. They released a photo of a jacket similar to one she had been wearing.
The bodies of the three women have not been found.
"It's always unsettling whenever there is any kind of a serial killing," said Winnipeg police Chief Danny Smyth.
"It does involve Indigenous women. We're very sensitive to the whole missing and murdered Indigenous women investigation and inquiry and the recommendations that came out of that."
Police released few details about their investigation, but said they have no leads to any other potential victims.
They said they are not searching the landfill for the bodies of the three women. They would not say whether they were searching any other locations.
"Investigation-wise, we believe quite honestly there were things very similar to Rebecca Contois but our investigators are still working through parts of the file," said Insp. Shawn Pike.
Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham offered his condolences.
"Anger and sorrow — that mix — is what I'm feeling right now, and I think that many in our city are going to be feeling the same," he said.
"We have more to do to address safety across this community."
The Southern Chiefs' Organization, which represents the communities the women were from, offered its condolences to the family, friends and First Nations of the victims.
"We will be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers as you grapple with the news that your loved ones have been taken from us in such a violent way," Grand Chief Jerry Daniels said in a statement.
Long Plain Chief Kyra Wilson called for resources and support for women, girls, two-spiritand gender-diverse people.
"Our First Nation will need support in the days, weeks and months ahead as many of our members will be impacted by this tragic news."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2022.
Brittany Hobson, The Canadian Press