Family of Whitehorse homicide victim 'overwhelmed' by community support
Relatives of one of the women killed last week in Whitehorse say they're "overwhelmed" by the support they've received from the community.
"There's been such an outpour of donations and love, and we thank everybody for everything they've donated and helped us with," said Nicole Smith, a niece of Sarah MacIntosh.
MacIntosh's body was found a week ago in a home in the McIntyre subdivision. Wendy Carlick was also found dead at the house. Police are investigating the deaths as homicides.
Victor MacIntosh, Sarah's brother, said he's been taking her death "really hard."
"Me and my wife [have] just been crying every night. Like, I just don't like watching movies when things like this happen," he said.
MacIntosh was a mother of three and worked as an employment counsellor. Smith also remembers seeing "Auntie Sarah" working at the daycare her kids used to attend.
"Every time I saw her, she had a hug," Smith said.
Doris Anderson, head of the Yukon Aboriginal Women's Council, is also grieving for MacIntosh, who was her cousin.
"She was such a good person. I think what hurts the most, more than anything, is that she was so kind. She never had anything bad to say about anyone," Anderson said.
"She was very lovable. And she was such a tiny person, and for someone to do this to both Wendy and Sarah — who were just gentle souls — it's just very difficult."
Upcoming MMIW inquiry hearings
The deaths of Carlick and MacIntosh happened just weeks before the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women is scheduled to hold its first family hearings, in Whitehorse. The hearings will take place the week of May 29.
Anderson says victims' families want and expect justice to come from the inquiry. She says having lost her own cousin now has given her a new perspective.
"It's quite painful and it's quite difficult to talk about. I've been around when families have been trying to tell their stories and what it is they're looking for, and I can understand now that it's very challenging," she said.
"We do want some answers."
Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief Doris Bill also spoke on Tuesday about the inquiry, at a news conference about the homicide investigations. She is a co-chair of the Yukon Regional Advisory Committee on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
"This tragedy demonstrates how necessary the inquiry is," she said.
Memorial walk planned
Family and friends of MacIntosh, Carlick and Greg Alvin Dawson — also found dead earlier this month and a victim of homicide, police confirmed Tuesday — are planning a "memorial walk" on Wednesday afternoon, to commemorate the three victims.
Nicole Smith says she'll join the walk to honour her aunt.
"To say that we're here, we're family, and we want this murder solved, and all the other murders that are unsolved right now in this community," she said.
The walk is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the baseball diamond in the McIntyre subdivision. It will proceed through the community, ending at the Murphy Drive residence where the bodies of Carlick and MacIntosh were found.