BC News: Vigil for deceased Indigenous women and teenage girl

The families of two women and a teenage girl who were all recently found dead after going missing in Metro Vancouver came together on Saturday for an emotional vigil.

“A life that was taken from us,” Natasha Harrison said of her daughter Tatyanna. “She deserved so much more than this world was willing to give her.”

Harrison reported her daughter missing on May 3. It turns out Richmond RCMP had already found the 20-year-old girl’s remains on a boat moored on the Fraser River the day before, but didn’t positively identify her until the first week of August.

According to her family, a preliminary coroner’s report said Tatyanna died of fentanyl toxicity.

Her mother says the RCMP deemed the death not suspicious and closed the case – even though Tatyanna’s body was discovered naked from the waist down.

“Well, you’ve swept her case under the rug. Tatyanna is worth so much more than you’re willing to give her and now the world is left without her. We don’t have her in our lives anymore,” Harrison said.

More than 100 people gathered at the Richmond Marina where Tatyanna’s remains lay.

Family members of Noelle O’Soup, an Aboriginal teenager found dead in Hastings Street ORS, and Chelsea Poorman, a young Aboriginal woman whose body was found on the property of a West Side mansion, also took the floor during the vigil.

“Stop allowing this to happen. Start talking so we don’t have any more Noelle O’Soups,” said Josie August, a relative of O’Soup. “(She) was 13. She should be at the mall. She should be with her friends. She should be with her family.

O’Soup was reported missing from her Port Coquitlam foster home in May 2021 and her remains were located in May 2022.

On February 24, Vancouver police found a man in his 40s dead inside the same room, but did not search it thoroughly.

More than two months later, a cleanup crew evacuating the man’s belongings from the apartment found the bodies of O’Soup and a woman who has not been publicly identified.

The Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner has opened an investigation into the conduct of a Vancouver Police Department officer for alleged dereliction of duty in relation to the case.

This investigation is currently on hold while a criminal investigation unfolds into the deaths of O’Soup and the other woman located in the room.

Poorman disappeared for nearly two years before a contractor working on a Shaugnessy mansion found his body on the property.

Parts of his skull and some of his fingers were missing.

The VPD says it believes Poorman died on the day of her disappearance, or shortly after, and her remains were exposed to the elements for 20 months.

Although the investigation remains open, police said there was not enough evidence to call Poorman’s death suspicious.

The three families who spoke at the vigil have more in common than grief – they also share a belief that the police have not done enough to find their missing daughters and are not thoroughly investigating the circumstances of their death.

“They’re somebody. They’re somebody’s daughter, they’re somebody’s niece, they’re loved,” Chelsea’s mother Sheila Poorman said.

Despite the immense pain that comes with sharing their grief publicly, the families of Harrison, Poorman and O’Soup are doing so so their loved ones won’t be forgotten as they continue to search for answers about how and why they died. .


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