The lead investigator of the new investigations into the deaths of nine Indigenous people in Thunder Bay hopes work on the cases will begin as soon as possible.
On Wednesday, retired OPP Det.-Superintendent Ken Leppert met with the executive governance committee to discuss the plan to re-investigate the deaths of Christine Gliddy, Shania Bob, Marie Spence, Aaron Loon, Sarah Moonias, Jethro Anderson, Curran Strang, Kyle Morrisseau and Jordan Wabasse.
The re-investigation of those nine deaths was recommended by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director in its Broken Trust report, which identified the existence of systemic racism within the Thunder Bay Police Service.
Anderson, Strang, Morrisseau and Wabasse’s deaths were also examined during the Seven Youth Inquest three years ago.
Leppert is leading a blended investigation team that will include detective-constables from the Thunder Bay Police Service and the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service and will report to the governance committee that includes city police Chief Sylvie Hauth, Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, Ontario’s chief coroner Dr. Dirk Huyer, Ontario’s chief forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Pollanen and Justice Stephen Goudge.
Leppert said his team will apply a consistent review process in each of the nine historic cases, including examining all of the scenes and reviewing all exhibits and forensics available.
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