More volunteers sought in search for missing woman

The parents of a missing Portage la Prairie woman are seeking volunteers to help them this weekend as they search for their daughter, whose disappearance is now a homicide investigation, RCMP confirm.

Jennifer Catcheway's family resumed the search near Dakota Tipi First Nation this week, knowing there is a narrow window of opportunity before snowfall.

Cadaver dogs are being used to find Catcheway's remains, if they are in the area.

"We want peace. We need her to be brought home," Jennifer's mother Bernice Catcheway said by telephone during yesterday's search. "Part of (us) is out there. We need that closure as a family, as a community."

Manitoba Rural Search and Rescue has been assisting the Catcheways and co-ordinating ground searches for some time. Its provincial search commander, George Leonard, said a limited number of volunteers are needed this weekend.

He prefers volunteers with trained expertise, including a background in using global positioning systems (GPS).

Catcheway said volunteers can report to the search base at Dakota Tipi's school.

This week RCMP publicly confirmed Catcheway's disappearance is being treated as a homicide.

Foul play was a theory previously shared with and suspected by Catcheway's family.

"We've always said that all along," Bernice Catcheway said. "Jennifer wouldn't just disappear. She wouldn't just leave home."

RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Line Karpish said the last confirmed sighting of Jennifer Catcheway was in Grand Rapids on June 19, 2008. That was the teen's 18th birthday.

Based on tips, however, Catcheway's relatives, believe she left Grand Rapids and arrived in Dakota Tipi for a party the following day.

That's why Catcheway's family is searching a large area surrounding the reserve just outside Portage.

Leonard said the family has done a lot of legwork to put together a timeline of the hours before the young woman vanished.

In the meantime, Bernice Catcheway is hoping anyone who knows something to call the RCMP or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

"Let somebody know so you can end this nightmare for us," she said.

A $10,000 reward is offered for the tip that leads to a resolution.

"Somebody knows something, and it's about time somebody comes forward," Leonard said. "We need to solve this."

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