RCMP make arrest in homicide investigation

January 7, 2021, 2:19 pm

Tamara Benoit

Two arrests were made between January 5-6, 2021, in relation to the investigation into the death of Tamara Benoit (Norman).

Tamara was reported missing to the Winnipeg Police Service on July 10, 2020. She was last seen in the Portage la Prairie and Long Plain First Nation area on May 23, 2020. On September 3, 2020, Manitoba First Nation Police Service located human remains near Cottonwood Drive in the RM of Portage la Prairie. The remains were identified as 36-year-old Tamara.

Tamara was a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. She was in the midst of researching her family history and learning more about her Métis background and culture. Her life was cut tragically short.

Investigators with the RCMP Major Crime Section, the Winnipeg Police Service, and the Manitoba First Nation Police Service worked tirelessly to bring justice to Tamara.

“Putting the handcuffs on someone and charging them with a homicide provides some justice to the deceased and their family, but the fact remains that a young life has been lost,” said Superintendent Michael Koppang, Officer in Charge of Major Crime Services for the Manitoba RCMP. “Through all the processes and procedures we go through in an investigation, we never lost sight of Tamara. Our agencies worked closely together, pooling resources and community knowledge, to be able to get to this point. I cannot be more thankful for the assistance we received from both WPS and MFNP.”

Cameron Friesen, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Manitoba said, “I extend my gratitude to the RCMP, Winnipeg Police Service and Manitoba First Nation Police Service for their joint forces operation that has led to charges in the tragic and senseless murder of Tamara Benoit. Too often, Indigenous women and girls have been the victims of violence and their families don’t receive the closure and sense of justice they need to heal. Our government continues to support joint forces efforts from law enforcement through our Policing and Public Safety Strategy and we continue to focus on protecting and supporting our most at-risk and vulnerable citizens.”

A 15-year-old male from Winnipeg was arrested on January 5, 2021, and released without charges. Ryan Peters, 37, from Long Plain First Nation, was arrested on January 6, 2021, and charged with Second Degree Murder.

Peters remains in custody.

The investigation continues and further arrests are anticipated.