The RCMP are appealing to people to come forward with information about the suspicious death of a young woman on the We’koqma’q First Nation in Cape Breton more than six weeks ago.
Cassidy Bernard, 22, was found dead in a home in the community on Oct. 24.
Her twin six-month-old daughters were also in the home at the time but were not harmed.
RCMP have called the death suspicious and say they do not believe it was a random act but have not yet said how Bernard died.
The community of We’koqma’q has been shaken, and the band has offered a $100,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for Bernard’s death.
Bernard’s “murder has devastated her children, her family, our community and the entire Mi’kmaw Nation,” a press release from We’koqma’q chief and council said last month.
Police issued a news release today to reassure the community that their investigation continues.
“We understand that this impacts an entire community that is looking for answers,” says Sgt. Glenn Bonvie of the RCMP Northeast Nova Major Crimes Unit.
“These investigations are complex and can take a significant amount of time to examine the evidence and make a determination about what happened.”
The RCMP said it is working with various partners, including the RCMP Forensic Identification Unit and the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service.
RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said police are aware that people in Bernard’s home community are “voicing concern” that the investigation is taking a long time.
She said the force is waiting on various test results but would not be more specific, adding that it’s “not unusual” for investigations to take this amount of time.
“It’s very important that things are done right,” said Clarke.
Friends, family and community members have staged multiple marches in memory of Bernard, and to raise awareness of her case.
Bernard’s cousin, Annie Bernard-Daisley, didn’t want to comment on the pace of the investigation, saying only that the family is trying to “remain positive”.
“We’re placing our faith and trust in the RCMP, is all I can say,” said Bernard-Daisley.
Bernard-Daisley, a member of the band council, said she believes tips have been coming in.
RCMP are also encouraging people with information to call Waycobah RCMP at 902-756-3371 or to contact Nova Scotia Crimestoppers.