RCMP statement on homicides in Whitehorse in April 2017

Whitehorse, Yukon – Statement delivered by Inspector Archie Thompson, Whitehorse RCMP Detachment Commander.

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I’d like to begin today by expressing my deepest condolences to the families and friends of Ms. Wendy Carlick and Ms. Sarah MacIntosh, as well as Mr. Greg Dawson.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this difficult time, as we continue to investigate the deaths of your family members.

And thank you, Chief Doris Bill, for the opportunity to be here with you today in the community of Kwanlin Dün.

On the evening of April 6th, Whitehorse RCMP received a report of a sudden death at a residence in the Riverdale area of Whitehorse.

Once on scene, police discovered the body of Mr. Greg Dawson, 45 years old.

On the morning of April 19th, Whitehorse RCMP were called to a residence here in the McIntyre Subdivision in Whitehorse.

Two deceased females were located inside the residence.

These women have been identified as Wendy Margaret Carlick, 51 years old, and Sarah MacIntosh, 53 years old. Both women were residents of Whitehorse, and Ms. MacIntosh was a member of Kwanlin Dün First Nation.

On Friday, April 21st, following a thorough preliminary investigation, Yukon RCMP Major Crime Unit investigators determined that both deaths would now be investigated as homicides.

The RCMP’s priority was then to notify the victims’ families of the development in the investigation. Investigators also wanted to ensure that the families were aware that their loved ones names would be officially released to media, prior to that release.

This is an important step to complete and one that the RCMP takes very seriously. It is for this reason that an update on the investigation did not go out to the public until we had spoken to both families, late on Friday evening.

To date, there has been a great deal of speculation regarding how the victims died.

Given the digital world we live in, information about the victims and their deaths began circulating on social media almost immediately.

Police work is fact-driven.

That is why the RCMP is committed to releasing accurate information that is supported by facts and evidence, not suspicions or assumptions.

Additionally, the RCMP does not release information regarding a crime which may compromise elements of the police investigation or judicial process.

Over the past week, the RCMP has dedicated many resources to investigating these deaths. To date, 35 RCMP officers have been engaged, including many from specialized units within the RCMP.

Police have spoken with more than 100 people – including members of the community of Kwanlin Dün First Nation, residents of the City of Whitehorse, as well as many individuals from surrounding communities in the Yukon.

Approximately 55 statements have been taken by police to date.

As with most investigations of this nature, a large amount of information has been flowing in from numerous sources.

In the first few days following such an incident, investigators work around the clock to process the crime scene, gather evidence and information, speak with members of the community, take statements and document everything accordingly – while also keeping family members informed of what is happening.

Essentially, RCMP investigators are working to piece together a very large and complex puzzle that has many missing pieces.

These two deaths, as well as the death of Mr. Greg Dawson on April 6th, are shocking to the community.

While there is no indication of an immediate risk to the public, we understand that the community and the city’s feelings of safety and security are threatened by these incidents.

Staff Sergeant Jane Boissonneault and Inspector Archie Thompson (RCMP)
Staff Sergeant Jane Boissonneault and Inspector Archie Thompson (RCMP)

Because these incidents have happened in such a short time span, it is still too early to determine if this represents a trend or shift in the level of violence in Whitehorse.

It does force us to ask the question, and we won’t be able to fully answer that question until we have determined the circumstances surrounding these three deaths.

At this time, there is no obvious connection between these deaths.

No arrests have been made, and all three deaths remain as active, ongoing investigations.

We realize that these incidents have sparked many questions and concerns in the community.

As residents of Whitehorse, you want answers, and we want to be able to provide them to you when we can.

Unfortunately, at this time, we cannot provide any details about the cause of death, circumstances surrounding the deaths, the crime scene, or potential suspects, but based on the information we currently have available to us, we can tell you the following:

  • There is currently no connection between the deaths of Ms. MacIntosh and Ms. Carlick and the April 6th death of Mr. Greg Dawson;
  • There is currently no evidence to suggest or support that these deaths are related to the 2007 death of Ms. Angel Carlick;
  • Last week, the RCMP announced that Mr. Dawson’s death was being investigated as suspicious. Our Major Crime Unit can now confirm that this death is being investigated as a homicide.

The RCMP are detailed and thorough in conducting investigations. But police officers do not operate in isolation. We can’t answer all the questions surrounding these deaths alone. If you know something, saw something or heard something, please come forward. Don’t assume that we already know what you know.

Finally, we would like to acknowledge and remind the public that there are several families grieving the loss of these three individuals.

We understand that these types of incidents can generate a lot of public interest, but we ask that you please respect that this is a difficult time for all families, as well as for the entire community. This neighbourhood remains the home of many, and we ask that you respect their privacy during this time of loss.

These investigations are continuing. Should either of these investigations result in the laying of criminal charges, the RCMP will confirm the nature of the charges and the identity of the individual (s) involved.

In the meantime, the RCMP remains focussed on enhancing public safety within the community of Kwanlin Dün, Whitehorse and all of the Yukon, and we will continue to work to identify the person or people responsible for these deaths.

Again, if anyone has information that might be helpful to these investigations, we ask that you please come forward to speak with our investigators.

If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can provide your information via Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.crimestoppersyukon.ca.

Yukon RCMP


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