Map of missing Regina girl belonged to late grandmother, Reddit user claims
Jesse Tahirali, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, November 3, 2014 10:44AM EST
Last Updated Monday, November 3, 2014 7:30PM EST
The person who posted an eerie, hand-drawn map online, saying to “check the wells” in the case of a missing Saskatchewan girl, left a follow-up message Monday saying the map had belonged to the user’s deceased grandmother.
On Sunday evening, an anonymous person posted a map scribbled on a sheet of paper using the name “MySecretIsOut” to the Regina subsection of the website Reddit.com.
The user titled the post “Location of Tamra Keepness, check the wells” with no further explanation, leading readers to speculate that the poster had some connection to the 2004 disappearance of the five-year-old Regina girl.
Police had said early Monday they were investigating the credibility of the map.
Around 2 p.m. ET Monday, the same user posted a message clarifying the origin of the map.
“Several years ago, every time something new came out about the case, my late grandmother used to say: ‘They're searching in the wrong place, they need to check the old wells,’” the user wrote.
“We questioned her about it a few times and all she ever said was her sister in Alberta had given her a map that she got based on visits to someone in a prison out that way.”
The unidentified poster -- who claimed to have submitted anonymous tips to the RCMP, Regina Police Service and Crime Stoppers at the time -- said his/her grandmother had been suffering from dementia. The grandmother’s sister had also since died.
The user said his family had forgotten about the grandmother’s story until Sunday, when the map had been discovered amongst his grandmother’s possessions. Upon posting a picture of the map, the person said they had also submitted it to police.
The poster -- who said he wanted to maintain anonymity to protect his family from possible “organized crime” connections -- seemed to regret the ominous title and username originally chosen.
“I apologize for any misunderstandings as a result of this post, and sincerely hope that something good comes out (of) it, and at the very least gets some more people searching and talking about her again.”
Police still investigating
Regina Police Service spokesperson Elizabeth Popowich said police were aware of the person’s message, but still had no information to identify the individual.
She said despite the strange nature of the tip, police were still investigating.
“Any information that comes to us that indicates a connection to a criminal case is taken seriously,” Popowich told CTVNews.ca on Monday afternoon. “You can’t dismiss information without exploring it further.”
Popowich said police had received somewhere around 1,700 tips since Keepness disappeared on July 5, 2004. She also said the investigation had taken police to places outside Regina in the past.
Meanwhile, the RCMP issued a brief statement Monday saying the force was “aware” of the map’s circulation, noting members of its Fort Qu’Appelle have been asked by Regina police to assist in the investigation.
In June, the Regina Board of Police Commissioners increased the reward attached to the Keepness case from $25,000 to $50,000, Popowich said.
She also called people’s interest in the map “encouraging.”
“I think everyone in this province and certainly everyone in this city had a very strong emotional connection to that story,” she said. “So it’s encouraging to see that there’s still a real desire out there to keep that case in people’s consciousness.”