Hue and Cry

Indigenous Women

The Murder of Amber Tuccaro

Location

Nisku, Alberta

Year

2010

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Amber Alyssa Tuccaro from Mikisew Cree First Nation was a 21-year-old woman living in Alberta, Canada where she lived with her mother Tootsie and young son Jacob. On August 17, 2010, Amber flew to Edmonton from Fort McMurray with her 14-month-old son and a female friend for a weekend trip. Their plan was to spend the night outside the city to save money, then head into Edmonton the next day.

Amber Tuccaro and her son Jacob (Alberta Press)

On the day of their arrival, Amber decided that she wanted to go into the city that night. She left her son with her friend and decided to hitchhike there.

When Amber failed to return the next day, her friend called her mother, who then contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to report her missing. Tootsie told media that the RCMP did not take Amber’s disappearance seriously. The RCMP publicly stated that they thought she was alive and somewhere in the Edmonton area and told her that she was probably out partying and would eventually re-appear.

Two years after the RCMP was contacted, a piece of evidence was released and the RCMP then declared they believed Amber had been murdered. The evidence was a portion of a phone call that Amber had made while in a car with the man suspected of murdering her. Listen to the audio below (CBC News) or read the transcript of the call here (scroll halfway down the page).

In the call, we can hear the man insisting that he is driving north to 50th street. Amber repeats what the man is saying, while still questioning if they are actually going in the correct direction.

The RCMP believe that instead of driving Amber north into the city where she wanted to go,  the man actually drove her south-east along rural country roads.

On September 1, 2012, horseback riders found partial skeletal remains on a farmer’s field near Leduc County. The remains were discovered to be Amber’s — the area was just south of her motel. It was also discovered that even though only a minute of the phone call was released, the actual phone call was 17 minutes in length. That was also the exact length of time it took to drive from her motel to the area where her remains were found.

The RCMP had obtained the call in the first place because the person Amber was on the phone with was her incarcerated brother and the facility where he was at had started recording all outgoing calls.

Two women have come forward since the recording was released and told RCMP they recognized the man’s voice heard on the recording.

I know that voice. I’ve ridden with that voice before on several occasions. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s his voice.

Woman telling CBC news of the recording police released (CBC News)

Despite these leads, RCMP have said they looked into the man but have ruled him out as a person of interest in the investigation. Amber’s family filed a complaint of the RCMP in 2014 for their handling of the case and in 2018 received a report calling the investigation ‘deficient’. Another woman who had come forward with evidence echoed the same sentiment.

They didn’t look very hard I don’t think. I knew the voice like I know the back of my own hand.

Woman who had contacted RCMP about Amber (CBC News)

UPDATE – July 22, 2019

Nine years after Amber’s death – the RCMP have formally stated they will apologize to the family for the “deficient” police work in this case.


UPDATE – January 24, 2020

Today the RCMP made public that they had received a tip on Amber Tuccaro’s homicide profile. “In early December 2019, the Banff RCMP was contacted by a male who alleged that his father may be responsible for a missing person from the Banff area. The male also stated that he believed that his father may be linked to numerous missing persons and homicide files in Alberta. On January 20,  2020, the male advised the RCMP that he believed his father to also be involved in the disappearance and murder of Amber Tuccaro.”

The RCMP are actively investigating this information.

Read more:
RCMP announcement
Alberta Press: Man claims audio recording of man with murder victim Amber Tuccaro is his father
RCMP looking into Amber Tuccaro case tip but caution against ‘erroneous information’
Facebook Group: Missing and Murdered Native Women of Canada

Videos about this case


Podcasts about this case

The Trail went Cold

Episode 120: Amber Tuccaro

Crime Junkie

Amber Tuccaro

Jensen and Holes

Amber Tuccaro

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