15 years later: Family, community still desperate for answers about Tamra Keepness
Michaela Solomon & Creeson Agecoutay, CTV Regina
Published Friday, July 5, 2019 6:05PM CST
Last Updated Friday, July 5, 2019 6:35PM CST
Each year on July 5, the Regina community holds a barbecue in honour of Tamra Keepness.
The message is to remind the public that she has not been forgotten.
"Someone knows where she is, what they've done with her. Come forward. Let us know. Please. Don't leave us in the limbo that we are any longer.” Joyce Keepness, Tamra’s great aunt said.
The event took place just two blocks away from the home Tamra went missing from, in the 1800 block of Ottawa St.
On July 6, 2004, Tamra was reported missing. Regina police say she was last seen on the night of July 5. She was just five years old.
Retired police officer James Pratt still wonders where Tamra could be.
“Standing on a road just like this and having a couple of white grandmas stop by, and ask me, ‘did you find our baby yet?’ I got emotional there because race was thrown to the side and everyone wanted to find this baby girl.” Ret. Cpl. Pratt said.
That sentiment is shared by many, and has not left the community in 15 years.
"It was almost unbelievable,” Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said. “It was something that, still to this day, we search for answers for the families and the communities that are involved."
A massive search followed which started in the neighborhood Tamra lived in, and stretched many miles into the country side. Many searched by ground, horseback and air.
The search still haunts Pratt.
“I hope someday that a beautiful young lady comes up and says ‘Hi, my name is Tamra, I heard you were looking for me.”
The annual barbecue is organized by the Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services and the Regina Police Service.