LOCAL NEWS

PROJECT DEVOTE TEAM LAYS MURDER CHARGE

RCMP CHIEF SUPT SCOTT KOLODY WITH WPS SUPT DANNY SMYTH (PHOTO JGJ)
RCMP CHIEF SUPT SCOTT KOLODY WITH WPS SUPT DANNY SMYTH (PHOTO JGJ)

On June 2, 2014, the Project Devote Team held a press conference at the RCMP “D” Division Headquarters to announce an arrest in the 2006 disappearance of Myrna Letandre (36).

Letandre was reported missing to the Winnipeg Police Service by her sister on October 26, 2006.  She had last been seen alive in Winnipeg early September of that year.

Letandre’s remains were recovered by the Project Devote Team on May 8, 2013 at a house on Lorne Avenue after information was received from Police in British Columbia.

Project Devote investigators arrested Traigo Ehkid Andretti (38) aka Dylan Harold Grubb in British Columbia and charged him with 2nd degree murder in connection with Letandre’s death.

Police indicate the arrest came as a result of an investigation by the Project Devote Team with the assistance of the Vancouver Island Integrated Crime Unit.

“Our investigative units within the RCMP and Winnipeg Police Service and other police agencies throughout Manitoba and Canada are part of a unified network that routinely discusses and shares information and best practices concerning serious investigations,” said Chief Superintendent Scott Kolody, RCMP Officer in Charge of Criminal Operations in Manitoba.

“These charges are the result of Project Devote’s careful investigation of leads and gathering of evidence,” said Danny Smyth, Winnipeg Police Service Superintendent of Investigative Operations. “While we are pleased to bring these charges before the courts, our thoughts go out to Ms. Letandre’s family members, who have suffered an overwhelming loss. We hope this will bring them some measure of justice.”

Andretti has been transported to the City of Winnipeg where he is being held in custody.

INSIDER COMMENTARY:

The story concerning the tragic end to Myrna Letandre’s life has many twists and turns.

Critical Events Timeline;

September, 2006

  • Myrna Letandre is last seen alive in the City of Winnipeg

October, 26, 2006

  • Letandre reported missing by her sister.

April 29, 2013

  • Jennifer McPherson, Traigo Andretti’s wife, is reported missing from her residence on Hanson Island, British Columbia.

May 4, 2013

  • Andretti admits to killing McPherson and is charged with 1st degree murder and committing and indignity to a human body after her remains were found scattered about the remote island.

May 7, 2013

  • British Columbia investigators provide information to the Project Devote Team which in turn sparks a search of a Lorne Avenue rooming house where Andretti and McPherson previously lived.

May 8, 2013

  • Police confirm Letandre’s remains were found in the Lorne Avenue residence.

(Police have confirmed Andretti and Letandre were known to each other and had a “relationship.”)

May 23, 2014

  • Andretti pleads guilty to 1st degree murder and is sentenced to life with no parole for twenty-five (25) years.

May 30, 2014

  • Project Devote Team members arrest Andretti in British Columbia.

June 2, 2014

  • Project Devote Team holds press conference announcing Andretti’s arrest.

The Police Investigation;

Police interrogation will always be one of the most important aspects of any serious criminal investigation.

The Letandre case is a classic example of how skilled interrogators can resolve crimes and bring degrees of closure to families of murder victims.  Although Police continue to remain mute on many aspects of the investigation, it’s clear Andretti provided critical information during his interrogation that led to the resolution of Letandre’s murder.

Project Devote team members acted quickly on that information and went about the business of building a case against Andretti.  With Andretti already in custody for another killing, and no concerns for public safety, Police had the rare luxury of dotting all of their “i’s” and crossing all of their “t’s” before they laid charges in the Letandre case.

The perceived delays in achieving justice irked members of Letandre’s family who voiced their frustration in the news media.  “It’s really hard and very frustrating.  There really is no justice for missing and murdered women,” said Susan Caribou, relative of Myrna Letandre, in a Winnipeg Free Press report.

Police investigators have little choice when it comes to withholding critical information connected to ongoing murder investigations.  The release of timelines, tactics and intimate details of a case only jeopardize criminal investigations and subsequent prosecutions.

Family members must keep the faith and trust the Police are doing everything in their power to resolve their cases.

That doesn’t mean they have to sit and the sidelines and remain mute.  It’s important for surviving family members to have a designated person develop a relationship with a lead investigator and to have frequent contact with Police so the family doesn’t suffer in the information vacuum.

If I had a loved one who was a long-term missing person or the subject of a cold case murder investigation I’d be picking up the phone and dialling that number once a month or so.  That way you can be sure the Police know someone on the outside cares about the investigation.   The external care factor can often provide a heightened degree of motivation to solve a case.  It always meant something to me.

Is Traigo Andretti a serial killer?

Although the direct question wasn’t asked at the press conference a reporter did ask if Police considered Andretti a suspect in any other cases.  The response; “Police are following hundreds of leads and the investigation is ongoing.”

The truth is the Police really can’t stick their necks out and say so one way or the other.

On the surface, it seems Andretti is just another sad excuse of a man who has significant problems with relationships and impulse control.  It’s important to remember he had relationships with both women killed in these cases.

If you look at him in that context he does not seem to fit the same profile as someone like Shawn Lamb, a manipulative, sociopathic killer who preys on drug addicted women involved in the sex trade.

The Police still have much work to do before they can close the book on Traigo Andretti.

FACTOIDS:

Project Devote is a provincial integrated task force of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Winnipeg Police Service focusing on missing and murdered exploited persons. Manitoba Justice has designated two prosecutors and a Family Liaison/Victim Services Worker to work with Project Devote.

The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit includes members of the RCMP, Central Saanich Police Department, Saanich Police Department and Victoria Police Department.

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2 Comments

  1. One whole year to dot i’s and cross t’s. Wonder if this has anything to do with Aboriginal leaders and advocates putting pressure on the police to solve the 369 outstanding missing/murdered Aboriginal women cases?

    Well one things for certain. Someone obviously felt they had all the time in the world to solve this case, when it could’ve been taken care of in May of 2013.

    On a personal level, I don’t feel any better knowing this man was caught. The victim is still gone and her family and friends are grief stricken.

  2. hmm…I am not so sure this charge fits into the alternate reality that the some of the so-called “leaders” and special interest groups live in. If they can’t pin all or most of the homicide or missing women’s cases on one (hopefully Caucasian) serial killer then I am afraid it can’t be true.

    DRIPPING sarcasm…

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