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Rising homicide rates alarm Sask. RCMP: Three in 29 hours

Only one month into 2024 and RCMP have investigated five homicides and Saskatoon Police Service are investigating one homicide.

Only one month into 2024 and already police in the province have dealt with six homicides.

Saskatchewan RCMP have investigated five homicides – three of them occurred in 29 hours – and Saskatoon Police Service are investigating one homicide already this year.

“Homicide clusters like the one that we saw last week are not an abnormality in Saskatchewan,” said Supt. Joshua Graham, officer in charge of Saskatchewan RCMP Major Crimes.

“In 2023, there were five separate occasions where the Major Crimes teams deployed to two to three homicides that occurred in less than 48 hours. In the first weeks of 2024, this is something we have already seen happen. Including the three homicides that our teams investigated in the past week, an additional two homicides have occurred since January 18, 2024, totaling five homicide investigations since the new year began.”

From Feb. 1 to Feb. 2, Saskatchewan RCMP Major Crimes were called to investigate homicides in North Battleford, Loon Lake, and Deschambault Lake. On Jan. 29 they were called to Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert a homicide. RCMP say charges are pending in another homicide in January.

On Feb. 1, at about 12:45 p.m., Loon Lake RCMP responded to a report of an injured person at a home on Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation. Officers found Dedrick Stick from the Island Lake First Nation (Ministikwan) injured. EMS pronounced him deceased at the scene. No arrests have been made.

On Feb. 2, at about 10:50 a.m., Deschambault Lake RCMP responded to a serious assault outside a home in Deschambault Lake. Jonathan Custer, 21, was found injured and taken to hospital where he died. Keiffer Robillard from Deschambault Lake was arrested at the scene and charged with second-degree murder.

On Feb. 2, at about 5:56 p.m., North Battleford RCMP responded to a shooting at a home on 93rd Street. Jordan Wright, 32, was shot and killed. No arrests have been made.

A week prior to these three murders, Prince Albert RCMP responded at about 10 p.m. on Jan. 29 to the murder of Rocky Meechance, 29. Six inmates were arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Three other inmates were charged with the assault of a second inmate, who was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Saskatchewan RCMP are also investigating a January death they believe is suspicious and say charges are pending after next of kin are notified.

Saskatoon Police Service is already dealing with its first homicide of 2024. They found a body inside a home in the 600 block of Lisgar Ave. on Feb. 3. They charged Chantal Lee McLaren, 32, with first-degree murder.

Extensive pressure is placed on the Saskatchewan RCMP Major Crimes teams when homicides happen in a cluster, said Supt. Graham.

The highly trained and specialized Major Crimes investigators in the Major Crime Branch, General Investigations Section, and Historical Crimes Unit are on standby, ready to investigate a homicide anywhere in the Saskatchewan RCMP jurisdiction. The Forensic Identification Section supports these units.

In addition to the homicide investigations in the last week by RCMP Major Crimes, they also provided support, assisted or deployed to four other serious incident investigations.

“Consistently high homicide rates and clusters of new homicides like this stretch our resources and take our investigators away from existing and historical homicides investigations,” said Supt. Graham.

Saskatchewan RCMP Major Crimes hasn’t added resources since 2018.

“The increased volume of investigations takes a significant toll on our investigators, whose dedication, resiliency and undeniable expertise contribute to finding answers, solving homicides and giving the families of victims closure," said Supt. Graham.

Since 2015, Saskatchewan RCMP Major Crimes, in collaboration with other Saskatchewan RCMP resources, have laid charges in 84 per cent of the homicides investigated since 2015. 

Saskatchewan RCMP Major Crimes investigates all homicides which occur in Saskatchewan RCMP jurisdiction. They investigate until those responsible are charged, or all investigational avenues have been depleted.

Saskatchewan RCMP detachment members are often the first responders to calls for service in homicides and help with the investigations.

If you have information that may help Major Crimes solve a homicide, report it to your local police of jurisdiction. Information can also be submitted anonymously by contacting Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or


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