RCMP NL supports actions of officers in investigation of missing at-risk youth

June 10, 2022
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

News release

RCMP NL announced today that after a detailed review of an investigation into a missing at-risk female youth in the Corner Brook area and actions of responding police officers, it supports the decisions made by the officers.

Information came directly from the youth's caregiver to Corner Brook RCMP at 4:19 a.m. on Sunday, June 5. Police responded and attended a residence, given its location in RCMP jurisdiction, based on information provided by the complainant on the location of the home and fears that the youth was in danger.

After an extended period of knocking on doors and windows, with no answer and increasing concerns for the wellbeing of the missing youth, police entered the home. Once they determined the youth was not inside, they apologized to the occupants for startling them and left the home. They reported their findings to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, given the youth went missing from their area of jurisdiction. A second apology was provided that same morning from a RCMP supervisor.

The Backgrounder below provides detail on the sequence of events in the investigation.

Quote

"The RCMP respects the rights of citizens in the communities we serve and would not enter homes without justification or authority," said Corporal Jolene Garland, RCMP NL Media Relations Officer. "We certainly empathize with the residents of the home but the decisions made by our officers were supported by the information available and with the intention to ensure the safety of a female youth at risk."

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Contact information

Strategic Communications and Media Relations Unit
RCMP NL
rcmp.nl.media-medias.tnl.grc@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Backgrounder

Sequence of events in missing at-risk youth investigation

4:19 a.m. Sunday, June 5 Report of missing teen received at Corner Brook RCMP. Address location and description of a home, including parked vehicle in driveway, was provided by the complainant, the caregiver of the youth.

The complainant said that the youth was picked up in front of that residence earlier on Saturday and was known to frequent the home.

The complainant stated she saw youth inside the basement of the described home on Saturday evening, June 4. She then tried to reach the youth on phone at that time while parked out in front of the residence. The complainant stated that a male exited the home and approached her vehicle; the complainant had concerns and left.

The complainant also advised there were serious concerns for the youth's safety based on the last contact with the youth on the night of June 4.

4:38 a.m. Police attended the residence.

One of the responding officers had attended the same property previously for an unrelated matter involving some tenants in the basement and believed one of those males was possibly the youth's boyfriend.

Officers believed that the missing youth was inside the home based on the totality of the information that was provided.

Officers attended the residence and knocked on doors and windows, yelling out and identifying themselves as police and calling out the missing youth's name. After a considerable time of doing this, an officer tried the basement door and found that it was unlocked. The officer remained outside of the home and reached his flashlight inside the home, banging on an adjacent oil furnace that was located to the left of the doorway to create heightened noise in an attempt to prompt a response from any occupants within the home. This occurred for at least 15 minutes.

Three vehicles were parked outside of the home and multiple pairs of footwear were observed inside the home through a basement window, leading officers to believe the home was occupied.

The officer's concerns for the safety of the youth were increasing at this time and with no response from inside the home.

A cell phone ping was done on the missing youth's cell phone number. The information received indicated the phone was in the general area but the radius was too large to specify an exact location.

The officers consulted with a senior officer, assessed the totality of the information that was provided and a decision was made to enter the residence under the exigent circumstances of public safety for the missing youth, who was believed to be at harm inside the residence.

5:40 a.m. Officers entered the home calling out as they did so, identifying themselves as police. Being unfamiliar with the layout of the home, the first bedroom the officers came upon was that of a child. Officers asked her name and asked if the youth saw the missing teen. Officers then asked if anyone else was in the home and were directed to adults who were said to be upstairs.

Officers continued upstairs and met with an adult male and female. Once police determined the home and its residents were not connected to the missing youth, they apologized for the inconvenience and exited the home.

6:00 a.m. A male in the home contacted the senior officer on shift and a further explanation of the police response and an apology was provided.

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