Three weeks to the day since 29-year-old Bobbie Lynn Moose of Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation was found dead near the back of an empty lot on Thompson’s Nelson Road, Asst. Commissioner Jane MacLatchy, commanding officer of the Manitoba RCMP, told the Thompson Citizen that investigators need more information from the public about the whereabouts and activities of Moose between the day a family member dropped her off at Walmart and the day she was found dead just a few blocks away.
“We know that Bobbie Lynn Moose was dropped off on Oct. 1 and of course her body was found on Oct 17 but the timeline in between that, we’re a little sketchy on so we’re trying to get that information,” said MacLatchy in an interview at the Thompson RCMP detachment. The assistant commissioner was in town Nov. 7 for some unrelated training.
Billboards have been put up in high-visibility locations, including one near Walmart and the Liquor Mart on Mystery Lake Road, and pamphlets are being sent out to more than 4,000 residences in an effort to reach people who might not otherwise realize that police are looking for information about Moose’s last couple of weeks alive.
“We know she must have stayed with people during her time here,” MacLatchy says. “We know she must have spoken and interacted with people and therefore she must have been seen so there’s got to be somebody who’s got some information for us so those are the people we’re reaching out to.”
The pamphlet campaign is not a technique the RCMP often use, MacLatchy says, but it is important the police get as much information about what Moose did inThompson between Oct. 1 and Oct. 17 before people start to forget or drift away’
“The sooner we can get these pamphlets in people’s hands and jog their memory before too much time passes, the better,” MacLachy says. “It takes a community to work on these things. We need people’s help. The police can not do it alone without the information of the community, people who know, so that’s why we’re doing this.”
Moose did not have a fixed address in Thompson and neither did many of the people who knew her.
“She tended to frequent some of the homeless shelters, some of her friends are transient homeless themselves or vulnerable and this is a group of people that’s hard to reach because they don’t have access to internet, to social media, to news, TV, what have you, and that’s the reason we’re going with the pamphlet campaign and the posters and billboard. There’s also a tendency amongst some people not to watch the news. We think getting a pamphlet in every mailbox in the city really provides us the opportunity to reach people and let them know that we’re looking for help.”
MacLatchy wouldn’t say if Moose had stayed at the Thompson homeless shelter anytime between Oct. 1 and Oct. 17.
“Actual details of the investigation and what we have found out I’m not going to be talking about because we have an ongoing investigation,” she said. “I don’t want to be specific on the details we have learned. All I’m here for is to plead for the community’s help in putting this together so we can get some justice for her and her family as well.”
Investigation team members will be set up by Canadian Tire in Thompson at 1 p.m. Nov. 8 with coffee waiting to see if anyone in the area has any information to pass along to them.
“You can come sit down, have a coffee with them because they will have coffee there, and have a chat if you need to, if you know anything,” MacLatchy says. “It could be something completely minor that to you seems insignificant but to us it might just add that extra piece of the puzzle we need. We really want to build that, to understand where she was, what she was doing, who she was with during that period of time.”.
The circumstances in which Moose’s body was found, in a public place, and the fact that she was transient make this investigation tough.
“Some cases, as soon as we find somebody, the investigation leads us to a conclusion pretty quick, we can figure out who did it,” MacLatchy says. “This one’s a little different. We need the information. My folks have been working very, very hard. They’ve canvassed the surrounding area, conducted over 300 interviews. We had a special team come up to help with that. We’re bringing more people up this week to help with a further canvas but it’s tough. It’s important that we learn everything we can to move forward on this.”
Each homicide case requires its own investigative strategy, MacLatchy says.
“We put the same amount of effort and the same type of work in every single case we get but we take steps based on what we have in front of us. I think reaching out top the community’s the right way to go in this instance.”
The assistant commissioner also reminds anyone who has information about Moose’s death or what she was doing between Oct. 1 and the day her body was found but hasn’t come forward yet that she was a person with six siblings and two children.
“I met her family in Winnipeg and they told me about her,” MacLatchy said. “I’m told she was quiet and fiercely independent, strong-willed but always smiling and happy. They described her to me as a beautiful unique soul and that’s what I think people need to know. This was a special woman, a human being who was loved and loved others and we need to find some justice for her. Our job is to find out who did this. That’s what we’d like to do.”
Anyone with information about Moose’s whereabouts and activities between Oct. 1 and Oct. 17 can contact Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477. Tips can also be submitted online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.