Bones found by a construction worker near the Mercier Bridge linking Montreal to the South Shore have been identified as those of Tiffany Morrison, a Mohawk woman who disappeared on June 18, 2006.
“The body was found in the bush, a good 100 feet off a roadway along the 132-138 service roads. It was found by a worker doing work by the roadway who had wanted to go to the bathroom and accidentally stumbled upon the remains,” said Warren White, Investigator for the Kahnawake Peacekeepers.
Morrison, who was 24 when she went missing and the mother of a young child, was last seen leaving a bar in the nearby Montreal borough of LaSalle. According to witnesses, Morrison got into a taxi with another man from her community who has told local law enforcement that this was the last time he saw her as after he got out of the cab she continued on. The cab driver who Morrison and the man traveled with has yet to come forward and since the time of her disappearance, the taxi companies that operate in that area have to help identify who that driver could have been.
According to White, the area where Morrison’s remains were found is part of Kahnawake territory but not an area that is frequented by many people on foot. The body was covered by branches that likely would have obscured it from people driving by.
“Her skeletal remains were there and all of her clothing was on. This has all gone to the laboratory in Montreal for analysis. We are currently waiting for a forensic anthropologist to review her remains to see if the cause of death can be determined,” said White.
While Morrison’s file has gone from that of a missing person’s case to a criminal investigation, White said the autopsy report will determine what direction the investigation will take next.
Though the Morrison family has yet to comment publicly on the case, White said he believed the family and the community are feeling some relief in that they now know where she is.
According to White, it is a “fair estimate” to say that Morrison’s remains have been where she was found since the day she went missing, but the area was never searched as they had no specific information on that location.
“Tiffany is one of many now, not within our community but there are so many other Native women across Canada who are missing, about 580. What are the governments doing about this? Is a Native woman’s life not as valuable as a non-Native? You see files when somebody (non-Native) goes missing, the recourses that are thrown at the situation and the task forces that are set up, but here nothing happens,” said White.
Though White acknowledged that previously it had been plausible that Morrison had run off, which is a comment he said he has heard often about missing Aboriginal women, he said in Morrison’s case that it was unlikely as she was a single mother of a young child.
In June 2009, Morrison’s family and the community of Kahnawake held a memorial for Morrison on the anniversary of her disappearance that brought out 300 community members and concerned individuals.
During the memorial service, Tiffany’s sister, Melanie Morrison, told the Nation that Tiffany was a devoted mother to her then four-year-old daughter and had just completed an entrepreneurial course with the intention of starting her own taxi company.
“My sister has missed two birthdays and almost a third one now. My heart breaks for my niece,” said Morrison at the time.
The Morrison family is asking that anyone who has any information on the murder contact the Kahnawake Peacekeepers at 450-632-6505.