Questions still surround the death of Christina Gliddy, like many others in Thunder Bay



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Thunder Bay police interviewed the man who said he was with Christina Gliddy on her last night on Earth.

The man told the police that the two went to the old train bridge that crosses a river in Thunder Bay. He said he remembered looking at Orion's Belt with her, and they took mouthwash and had intercourse sexual relations.

He told police he left her there because she wanted to stay on track for some time, according to police reports of the investigation by CBC News.

He said he noticed a group of people approaching her when he left, and that was all he knew.

Glidy's case is one of several being examined by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), while the police officer analyzes allegations of systemic racism in the way Thunder Bay police handle cases of missing persons and death involving indigenous people in the city.

The train bridge at Thunder Bay, near the site where Christina Gliddy was found on March 29, 2016. (Karen Pauls / CBC)

Police found Gliddy at 8:01 am on March 29, 2016, near death, lying in a black-red-and-white winter coat that was soaked and beginning to freeze on gravel near the sign "Danger" by the railway bridge.

The 28-year-old mother of Wunnumin Lake First Nation, an Ojibway community that lies about 360 miles northeast of Sioux Lookout, Ontario, was pronounced dead at 11:49.

Thunder Bay police closed the case in September 2016. The coroner concluded that she died of accidental hypothermia.

The family still has doubts.

"I really did not believe it, because it seems to me that they ran and closed everything immediately," said Gliddy's sister, Thea Gliddy, 36. "There were rumors in Thunder Bay, rumors about someone having killed her."

2 year OIPRD research

The OIPRD is expected to disclose its findings on Wednesday after a two-year investigation that was triggered by a separate police investigation into the death of a man named Stacy DeBungee, 41, whose body was taken from the water on October 19, 2015. just upstream from where Gliddy was found.

Thunder Bay police concluded that he stumbled into the river and drowned. Police said his death "did not look suspicious" and they considered it "non-criminal" before an autopsy was completed.

One private investigator discovered several possible clues that Thunder Bay police did not follow after a review of the case.

Brad DeBungee, Stacy DeBungee's brother, filed a complaint with the OIPRD saying the police dropped the crime very quickly on Stacy's death.

His complaint alleged that there was a pattern of Thunder Bay police officers stating that the deaths of First Nations people were not suspect within a few hours of a body being discovered.

"Something else happened"

Gerry McNeilly, director of OIPRD, said the current investigation includes at least 30 cases dating back to the 1990s, nine of which involved missing persons and murders of indigenous women and girls.

CBC News learned earlier this year that Glidddy's case was part of the OIPRD probe.

Diagram of where Christina Gliddy was found by Thunder Bay police. (CBC News)

Thea Gliddy, who lives in Winnipeg, said she was hopeful the OIPRD report would help bring justice to her sister's case, which she believes has been mismanaged by Thunder Bay police.

She said she still has doubts about the bruises found on her sister's body and why she was found in her socks.

"Her stuff was scattered – it does not make sense to me," said Thea Gliddy. "I believe something else has happened."

Police found a closed can of the President's cranberry ginger in the left pocket of the winter coat. In the right pocket was a spoon and a torn and wet piece of paper, an order form for clothing from the local shelter.

One of Gliddy's suede boots, the one on the right, was found near a bottle of empty mouthwash and a white knitted tuque with a pom-pom and ear flaps. The other boot was found under the bridge, several feet away, with a black twist.

His two layers of pajama pants were wet and pulled down on his back, below his buttocks.

For the indigenous people, nothing has changed.

There were many deaths along this river. The river is technically known as the Neebing-McIntyre Floodway, a canal built to protect the long-distance area of ‚Äč‚ÄčThunder Bay from flooding.

It is known locally by some as the "River of Tears".

On November 10, 2009, Kyle Morriseau, 17, of Keewaywin First Nation, was taken off the river.

The body of Curran Strang, 18, of the First Nation of Pikangikum, was removed from the river on September 22, 2005.

Thunder Bay police concluded that both deaths were accidental drowning.

Christina Gliddy, left, and her sister Deliliah Ostamus in an undated photo. (Posted by the Gliddy family)

Both cases were part of a coroner's inquiry that investigated the deaths of seven young men in Thunder Bay. Five of the deaths were the result of Thunder Bay waterways drowning.

The inquiry has raised many questions about how Thunder Bay police handled the killings of the young.

In fact, Thunder Bay police actions in cases involving indigenous deaths have been questioned for more than 20 years.

In 1994, a group called the Base Committee compiled a list of "more than 30 cases in which Thunder Bay police treated the Aboriginal people unfairly and neglected investigations into Aboriginal violent deaths," according to a report in the Thunder Bay Post. Time.

The Chiefs of Ontario organization, representing indigenous interests throughout the province, called for an investigation into the committee's findings by the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the Ontario Anti-Racism Secretariat and the Office of the Commissioner of Police Complaints, said the report.

Philip Edwards, who was on the Thunder Bay Police Services Council as a provincial nominee and was involved in compiling the results, told CBC News this week that nothing happened.

"For ordinary indigenous people, nothing has changed. This has worsened in many ways," he said.

Thunder Bay police investigating Glidy's death never found out if there was truth in the man's statement about the group of people who approached her when he left, according to the case file.

"I have this feeling that there is something wrong," said Thea Gliddy. "I'm still struggling to this day. I promised her when I was in jail, I promised her I would find out what really happened to her."

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