Sgt. John Respet from KARE Operations in Edmonton was one of the speakers brought in by the Rollyview Community Association to talk to county residents about the five bodies that have been found in Leduc County and area over the last six years.
With the discovery of five bodies in six years spread throughout a portion of Leduc and Camrose Counties, it is only natural that homeowners in those areas would be a little concerned. Not just for their safety but concerned with anything they notice that might be a little out of the ordinary. This was probably the biggest question on everyone's mind that night; If you see something odd, what do you report, when do you report it, and who do you report it to?
This was exactly why the Rollyview Community Association put together this Community Awareness Initiative meeting, and they managed to gather an impressive panel of law enforcement experts to answer everyone's questions. Present that night were Corporal Brandan McCarney and Constable Andrew McFarlane from the Leduc RCMP detachment, Cor De Wit, Chairman of the Leduc Rural Crime Watch Association, Sgt. Elton Nichol with EPS, and Sgt John Respet from KARE Operations, Serious Crimes Branch.
Most of the questions directed at the panel were from area land owners wondering what sort of activities the police would like them to report, as no one wanted to be calling about something strange they noticed their neighbours doing that might end up having a perfectly normal explanation. The panel reassured them that the residents of any area are the best ones to be able to pick out any "strange" happenings, as they live there and know what "normal" looks like for their neighbourhood. It was stressed many times throughout the evening that no matter what your personal concerns might be, if you see anything out of the ordinary in your area, call the police. It is usually the smallest, seemingly most insignificant thing that a person might assume isn't worth the time or effort to report, that ends up providing the missing piece to solve a case.
As far as specific questions in regard to the Amber Tucarro case, or any of the other bodies that have been found, no further specific information was able to be disclosed to the public as the investigations are still ongoing, but it was obvious the police do have more information they are working with as they try to solve these cases. It was also made apparent that some of the good clues they have, have come from people in the Rollyview area.
However, they were able to give generalities into a few of the cases. Namely, that all four victims other than Amber, came from the 118 Avenue area in Edmonton. They feel that the reason the bodies have been left out here, is that it is quiet and remote, and less likely that they will be quickly discovered. It was also stated that the person, or persons, committing these crimes probably has some sort of tie to this area, so they feel comfortable coming out here.
When asked if the police think it might be someone in this community committing the crimes, they stated that they simply don't know. That is why every bit of information they can gather is important.
Another attendee asked if they had done a profile to help find a likely suspect, and Sgt. Respet replied that the profile that they did in 2005 could apply to 90% of Albertan males, as it came back as likely a man between the ages of 20-45 years old, with some form of agricultural background, that drives a pick up truck. Sgt. Respet also commented on the fact that profiling is not really all that helpful to police as it is not a scientific process, and it is not admissible in court.
They stated that the recording they released of the conversation between Amber Tucarro and the man driving the car she was in has "paid dividends with quality information from the public." But when asked by a member of the audience how long they had had the recording prior to releasing it, the officers could not give a definite answer for fear of compromising the investigation. All they would say was that they had "agonized" over the decision whether to release the recording at all, but in the end felt it was worth it.
Sgt. Respet said that the one common denominator in all of the cases is that the suspect(s) has a vehicle. He asked that residents be observant to areas of their properties where vehicles can go. He stated that offenders are typically lazy and don't want to have to carry a body very far, so will usually drive to a location and dump the body close to their chosen parking spot.
He encouraged everyone to trust their "spidey senses". "You know when you see something that isn't quite right in your neighbourhood or on your land. Get a licence plate number if possible, a vehicle description, anything you can without placing yourself in any sort of danger, and then call us. You never know what little missing piece of the puzzle will make everything else fall into place."