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'Forever hold onto that memory:' Family members remember victims in Winnipeg

Winnipeg police say they have charged Jeremy Skibicki, 35, with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of four women. One of the women has not been identified but police say they believe she is Indigenous.
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Family and friends of slain women gather at a vigil in Winnipeg, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. It was announced that Jeremy Skibicki faces three more charges of first-degree murder. In addition to Rebecca Contois, who was identified earlier, Skibicki has been charged in the deaths of Morgan Beatrice Harris, Marcedes Myran, and an unidentified female. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Winnipeg police say they have charged Jeremy Skibicki, 35, with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of four women.

One of the women has not been identified but police say they believe she is Indigenous.

The family members of the other three women, who are all First Nations, say they were loved and will be missed. They include:

Rebecca Contois

The family of Rebecca Contois, 24, said in a statement Friday that the last few months since her remains were found have been incredibly difficult.

“We have experienced paralyzing grief. Pure devastation,” the statement said. “I don’t think we have ever cried buckets of tears, painful wake-you-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-anxiety, a type of grief never experienced before. Deep, deep sadness.”

Contois lived in Winnipeg but was a member of O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nation, also known as Crane River.

Darryl Contois, who is not an immediate relative but got to know her family, said earlier this year that Rebecca Contois was bright, liked talking to people and had a good sense of humour.

Morgan Beatrice Harris

The family of Morgan Beatrice Harris, 39, wants people to remember her big glowing smile. She was a mother of five and a grandmother to one.

“She was silly. She was fun. People loved to be around her,” her 21-year-old daughter Cambria Harris said at a vigil Thursday.

Harris lived in Winnipeg and was a member of Long Plain First Nation.

Kirstin Witwicki, Harris’ cousin, said she had a “huge spirit” and was fearless.

“I know that she loved her children and she did the best she could with what she had,” Witwicki said.

Marcedes Myran

The family of Marcedes Myran, 26, said she was very loved, had a great sense of humour, and was kind to everyone she met.

Her cousin Angel Myran said she was pregnant the last time she saw Marcedes Myran. She said her cousin rubbed her belly and said she loved her.

“She laid her head on my shoulder and I told her I loved her and missed her,” Angel Myran said in a message. “I’ll forever hold onto that memory of her.”

Marcedes Myran also lived in Winnipeg and was a member of Long Plain First Nation.

Her family said they are feeling great loss but Marcedes Myran will never be forgotten.

“She was a great person,” Angel Myran said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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