Missing women and a horrific murder make headlines in '08 0
Portage la Prairie and surrounding area residents were in shock when two Portage-area women went missing in 2008.
The community came together to help find Jennifer Catcheway, 18, who disappeared on June 19, and Amber McFarland, 24, who was last seen on Oct. 18.
In October, massive land searches of volunteers led by members of the Manitoba Search and Rescue Association hit the bush by foot, on horseback and on quads. The Assiniboine River diversion spillway, located southwest of Portage, was drained so searchers could check the basin for any clues of the missing women.
The public significantly contributed time, money and other resources to help with the massive weekend searches.
Overhead, aircraft searched the waterways while the floodgates of the Assiniboine River were closed in early November.
For Catcheway, searches were also conducted in the Grand Rapids area over the summer.
On Dec. 9, the families of the missing women took their plea to the steps of Manitoba Legislature hoping to continue in their efforts to spread the word to the community about the need to try and help find their loved ones. A candlelight vigil was also held in front of Portage City Hall on Dec. 21.
The missing women have not been found.
Bizarre bus murder worries community
Portage residents were in disbelief in July when a young man from Winnipeg was beheaded on a Greyhound bus, just west of Portage.
Vince Li, from Edmonton, will stand trial in Winnipeg court on March 2, 2009, facing charges of second degree murder in the death of Tim McLean on July 30. A three-day trial is planned for Li who was deemed fit to stand trial in October. There will be a judge alone trial, without a jury.
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