Kendara Ballantyne was homicide victim, Manitoba RCMP say 3 years after her remains found

More than three years after Kendara Ballantyne’s remains were found near the University College of the North in The Pas, Manitoba RCMP have determined she was the victim of a homicide.

Tuesday, which would have been Ballantyne’s 22nd birthday, also marks the National Day of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQ+ people who’ve been harmed by violence.

Ballantyne was 18 when she was last seen July 18, 2019, in the northern Manitoba town. Her remains were found less than three weeks later on Aug. 6.

The cause of death has never been released to the public and RCMP have provided few details about her case. But on Tuesday, for the first time, they declared her death a homicide.

RCMP ask anyone with information regarding Ballantyne’s whereabouts and activities at the end of June 2019, or any other information related to her disappearance and death, to please call their tip line. (RCMP)

In a brief news release, the RCMP said they “seek to find answers for Kendara’s family.”

The release also quoted Ballantyne’s aunt Lorraine Packo, who said the family feels an indescribable void since the death.

“We need closure. We need justice for Kendara. My family and I have been and will continue to raise awareness to her case. We need to ensure that she is not forgotten,” Packo is quoted as saying.

“We need to keep saying her name. Please, if anyone has any information, come forward.”

Since Ballantyne’s death, the family has held marches to keep the young woman’s name in the public sphere and to call for answers. 

A safe ride service was also created in The Pas and the nearby Opaskwayak Cree Nation, to keep women in the area out of potentially dangerous situations at night. 

The organizers of the service asked the Ballantyne family to come up with a name to honour Kendara. They chose the word “Nisiiminan,” which means “my little sister” in Cree.

RCMP investigators are asking anyone who has information regarding Ballantyne’s whereabouts and activities at the end of June 2019, or any other information related to her disappearance and death, to call their tip line at 431-489-8106.

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