It’s been exactly 13 years since she went missing, and Wednesday the annual barbeque was held in Tamra Keepness’ honour.
Keepness went missing from her Ottawa Street home in Regina the night of July 5, 2004.
An intensive ground search investigation soon followed her disappearance, and a comprehensive investigation continues today.
Police chief Evan Bray said — even after all these years — they’re still actively searching for her.
“We’re constantly open to working with the community and working with the family,” said Bray. “Our officers are very, very eager and willing to investigate any new information or any new tips that come in.”
Bray explained that more than 17,000 tips and countless conspiracy theories have been submitted to police over the years, but none have led to the now 18-year-old girl.
“We have literally tried and exhausted every possible avenue, which is why we’re desperately and constantly asking for the public’s help in any way with any information that they might have,” he said.
As for Keepness’ family, Bray said they’ve been in close contact with them these past 13 years, and added it’s that connection which keeps members motivated to find her.
According to Bray, a number of Keepness’ relatives were at the barbeque held in Core Community Park Wednesday afternoon, but they chose to remain unidentified.
Verne Bellegarde, a board member with Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services, the non-profit that puts the barbeque on annually, said the event offers hope for her family.
“Maybe at some point in her life, (Keepness) will find her way back here, and know where her roots are,” he said.
Bellegarde added that many Elders are regularly praying for her return, and personally he keeps Keepness in his thoughts as he smudges and uses sweet grass each morning.
A reward of $50,000 is on the line for anyone with information on Keepness’ whereabouts.