The Death of Alannah Jamima Cardinal

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EARLY LIFE:

Alannah Jamima Cardinal was one of nine children born to her parents. Her family, which included her grandmother Noreen Cardinal, were members of the Whitefish (Goodfish) Lake First Nation, a Cree community located about 185km northeast of Edmonton, Alberta.

Growing up, Alannah was said to be an outgoing and smart girl, who was very friendly to everyone she met. She was also the mother to her young 4-year-old daughter, who is said to be a miniature version of her mother. Alannah had been planning on sending her to school.

In 2015, her boyfriend, who also happened to be the father to her daughter, perished in a car collision. According to Alannah’s family, his death is said to have greatly affected her.

Shortly before her disappearance and death, the young mother had received an acceptance letter from Portage College in Alberta. She was just 20 years old.

DISAPPEARANCE & DEATH:

The last day Alannah was seen alive was July 16, 2016.

A few days later, on July 21, Alannah was officially reported missing to authorities. To help try and find her, the St. Paul detachment of the RCMP sent out a public notice for assistance in trying to locate her, which featured her description.

Nine days after she was last seen, Alannah’s remains were discovered near her home community of Whitefish (Goodfish) Lake First Nation by the RCMP, local volunteers, and search and rescue personnel.

INVESTIGATION:

Upon Alannah’s body being found, an investigation was launched, which involved RCMP investigators, the Edmonton Medical Examiner’s Office and the RCMP’s Forensic Identification Section. Investigators were quick to say they believed the circumstances surrounding her death to not be suspicious. Upon the coroner examining the body, Alannah’s death was deemed to be the result of a suicide.

Upon Alannah’s body being discovered, her family received support from the Victim Services Unit.

Despite what the RCMP have officially stated, Noreen says her granddaughter would never have died by suicide, as she never spoke of the act and cared deeply for her family, especially her young daughter. As such, the family asked the RCMP to investigate her death as a possible homicide.

Upon hearing the family’s concerns, the RCMP continued to investigate the death, but have not publicly stated if they’ve ever uncovered evidence to support the family’s theory that Alannah was murdered.

As of 2016, the case was said to still be open and the RCMP were following all possible leads.

THEORIES:

1) The officially manner of death ruled by the St. Paul RCMP is that Alannah died as the result of a suicide. However, they have not publicly stated why they believe this to be the case or why they feel Alannah would take her own life. It should be noted that Alannah’s family and community do not feel the young mother took her own life, despite the rough year she’d had due to her boyfriend’s death, and have stated numerous times that they feel her death is the result of a homicide.

2) The only other theory in the case is that Alannah was murdered by persons unknown. As stated above, this is the belief of those who personally knew Alannah. While the RCMP had stated back in 2016 that they were looking into any tips or information brought to their attention, it has not been publicly stated if anything has come to light that would send the investigation in this direction.

AFTERMATH:

Alannah’s death has taken a toll on her family, who have publicly stated that they – in particular her daughter – miss her and wish to seek a resolution to her case.

CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:

Those with information regarding the death of Alannah Jamima Cardinal are being asked to contact the St. Paul RCMP at 780-645-8888.

Image Credit: CBC

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