A man who has been charged with murdering three Native women in Manitoba may have been targeting other Native women across Canada, authorities told the Canadian Press.
Shawn Cameron Lamb, 52, is facing three second-degree murder charges in connection with the deaths of Tanya Nepinak, 31, Carolyn Sinclair, 25, and Lorna Blacksmith, 18. All three women went missing from the same area of Winnipeg within a four-month period.
Lamb was considered a person of interest in all cases, CP reported. He drew attention to himself when he claimed to have found the bodies of Blacksmith and Sinclair near dumpsters in Winnipeg.
But it wasn't until he was arrested for sexually assaulting a 36-year-old woman that authorities tied him to the cases. It wasn't reported whether the woman is Native.
"We never said there was no serial killer. We said we had no evidence to suggest there is one," Police Chief Keith McCaskill said at a press conference, CP reported.
"Now we have that evidence."
A 29-year-old woman told CBC News she went to police after Lamb attacked her in January. But she said nothing happened even though she believes he was connected to the missing victims.
The cases have Native leaders enraged. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
wants a public inquiry into the police's handling of missing women but Justice Minister Andrew Swan said the province doesn't want to get in the way of the criminal proceedings against Lamb.
Nepinak went missing around September 13, 2011. She was from the Pine Creek First Nation
. Her body hasn't been recovered.
Sinclair went missing around December 13, 2011. She was from the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation
. Her body was found in March.
Blacksmith went missing around January 12, 2012. She was from the Cross Lake First Nation
and had family from Mathias Colomb. Her body was found last Thursday.
Sinclair's sister noted in February that all three women went missing around the same time of each month.
Lamb has been described as a drifter with a long criminal record. He has been charged for crimes in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba. Authorities are looking for connections to other missing women across the country.
Get the Story:
Accused may have killed more women
Inquiry on missing, slain women premature at this point: politicians
(The Winnipeg Free Press 6/26)
Manitoba government rejects call for public inquiry into missing, murdered women
Vigil held for slain women in alleged serial killing
Murder vigil crowd calls for inquiry
(The Winnipeg Sun 6/26)
Woman tells of escape from alleged serial killer
Editorial: No time for rash judgment
(The Winnipeg Free Press 6/27)
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