RCMP say Leduc detachment investigation was not its best work.
The RCMP has made an official apology to the family of a woman whose murder in Leduc County is still unsolved.
Deputy Commander for Alberta RCMP, Curtis Zablocki, made the apology to Amber Tuccaro’s family in a speech on Thursday.
“At the beginning of this investigation, the RCMP was not the police service we strive to be. I fully acknowledge that in the early days of our investigation into Amber’s disappearance, that it required a better sense of urgency and care. In 2010, our Leduc detachment's initial missing person investigation was not our best work,” he said.
Tuccaro flew into Nisku from Fort McMurray on Aug. 17, 2010. She had been missing until her remains were found in a farmer's field in Leduc County on Sept. 1, 2012.
The apology comes in response to a recommendation in her family’s Civilian Review and Complaints report filed against the Leduc RCMP. Other complaints included Leduc police taking Amber’s name off the missing persons’ list early in the investigation, as well as the four months it took them to interview her mother.
When asked what the apology meant to her, Amber's mother Tootsie, said it meant nothing and that RCMP were just doing it because they were told to.
Tootsie Tuccaro says her daughter’s case is just one of many examples of the RCMP’s lack of action towards investigating incidents of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
“I’ve talked to mothers where it’s always the same thing when you report your daughter missing. [They say] ‘oh she’s out partying, she’ll come back’. That needs to stop – that’s not right,” she said.
She says this isn’t the end of it.
“He’s [the killer] out there living his life, but I hope he’s living in hell like we are,” she said. “For the people that know who the killer is, you have blood on your hands too; I don’t know how you can sleep at night…knowing what you know. Because maybe he’s been killing other girls and women. You will be caught, I don’t care how long it takes,” said Tootsie Tuccaro.
A new poster was also unveiled on Thursday to aid in the ongoing search for Amber’s killer.
“Amber used to sing and dance, and she used to tell me ‘one of these days Mama, I’ll be up on posters and big billboards’. Now there’s a new poster for her, but not the way it’s supposed to be,” said Tootsie Tuccaro.
Alberta RCMP says it cannot change the past, but is working to implement recommendations addressed in the report.
Tuccaro's mother, Tootsie, and brother, Paul at the apology on July 25, 2019.
The unveiling of Amber's new poster.