Indigenous woman missing from Vancouver for months identified as deceased person found in Richmond

·3 min read
Tatyanna Harrison was last seen in April 2022 in Vancouver. Police say her body was discovered on a yacht in dry dock at a Richmond marina on May 2. (Vancouver Police Department - image credit)
Tatyanna Harrison was last seen in April 2022 in Vancouver. Police say her body was discovered on a yacht in dry dock at a Richmond marina on May 2. (Vancouver Police Department - image credit)

Police in Vancouver say an Indigenous woman last seen in the city's Downtown Eastside neighbourhood months ago is the deceased person found on a dry-docked yacht in Richmond on May 2.

Tatyanna Harrison, 20, went missing in late April.

On Saturday, the Vancouver Police Department said in a release that a previously unidentified body discovered in Richmond is Harrison's.

"This is heartbreaking news to everyone who knew and loved Tatyanna, and to the many strangers who came together to search for her when she disappeared," said Const. Tania Visintin.

"Although we are now able to provide some answers, many questions remain, and we will continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding Tatyanna's disappearance."

Harrison was last seen on April 22 at the Grand Union Pub on Abbott and Hastings Street. She last spoke to her mother, Natasha, on March 24 over a text message.

Police say Tatyanna Harrison was reported missing by her mother on May 3.

VPD investigators believe Tatyanna had moved to Vancouver from Surrey for several weeks before her disappearance.

In late June, Vancouver police and Natasha Harrison released a video documenting her last known movements in the Downtown Eastside, appealing to anyone with information about her disappearance to come forward.

The B.C. Coroners Service notified Vancouver Police on Friday that a body found on May 2 in Richmond was identified as Tatyanna's.

A post on Facebook in Natasha Harrison's name said that it was with "heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beautiful Tatyanna Marie Harrison.

"Tatyanna's bright soul was taken from this earth way too young," it said.

 

On July 14, Richmond RCMP circulated a release about a woman who had been discovered deceased on an old, 12-metre yacht that was in dry dock at a marina in the 6900 block of Graybar Road.

The death was not considered suspicious.

Richmond RCMP
Richmond RCMP

Police released a composite sketch of the person, and a photograph of a purple or dark blue sweater with gold threading that they were wearing.

At the time police described the deceased person as a white female, 30 to 40 years old, five-foot-five-inches tall and weighing 90 pounds, with brown eyes.

Vancouver police described Tatyanna Harrison in missing persons releases as having brown eyes and being around five-foot-one-inch tall.

A series of recent deaths and disappearances of young Indigenous women in Vancouver has advocates and families questioning whether police are properly handling missing persons cases.

Toxic drug overdose

Police say the coroners service told them the cause of death for Tatyanna Harrison was toxic drugs, specifically fentanyl.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about her last movements to call VPD's missing person unit at 604-717-2530 or email vpd.missing@vpd.ca. People wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or visit www.solvecrime.ca.

Harrison was in Surrey, B.C. until Feb. 3, according to the VPD. From Feb. 9 to 22, she stayed at a shelter at 875 Terminal Ave. in Vancouver.

On March 23, Harrison visited the Royal Bank of Canada branch in the Downtown Eastside to report a stolen card.

She subsequently got another card, and was seen at the bank with an unidentified man, described as 30 to 40 years old with a slim build, a moustache and stubble on his face.

Vancouver Police Department
Vancouver Police Department

He was last seen wearing a two-toned dark jacket, a dark hooded sweater, and a dark-coloured toque.

Police say the man is being treated as a witness and not a suspect in the disappearance. Investigators have not said if they have been able to contact the man.

Police say that Tatyanna was seen several times since, including on April 7 in Robson Park and on April 22 at the Grand Union Pub.

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