Daughters of Allan Waugh, the Whitehorse man whose 2014 homicide remains unsolved, say they’re hopeful the Yukon RCMP’s new Historical Case Unit will help them find answers about their father’s death that they’ve desperately been seeking for years.
Speaking to the News March 8, Rosemary Waugh-Wilson, Dawn Waugh and Teresa Waugh said they were excited that police will soon be able to spend more time on unsolved homicide cases.
“It’s great…. It’s really positive news, and we’re really very excited about it and that it will allow there to be more work done in areas that maybe they didn’t have the resources to do previously,” Dawn said.
The Yukon government announced earlier this week that it will be spending $442,000 per year for the next three years on the Historical Case Unit, a three-person team which will focus on unsolved murders and missing persons cases. It will also work with affected families, Yukon First Nations and other community groups. In her ministerial statement in the house, Justice Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee noted that out of the 35 homicides cases in the Yukon dating back to 2000, 12 still remain unsolved today.
Allan Waugh’s case is one of those. He was found murdered in his McIntyre home on May 30, 2014. Despite repeated pleas from his family for people with information to come forward, to date, no arrests have been made.
He would have turned 73 March 4.
“It’s always there,” Waugh-Wilson said of her father’s death. “It affects everyone all the time, and when another murder happens we get thrown right back into it because we empathize with the family and what they’re going through and (we’re) hoping they don’t have to go through the same thing where it doesn’t get solved. We don’t know anything about what happened to our dad. We don’t know, and that’s hard.”
The sisters said that while their family is regularly in touch with the RCMP for updates and has a good channel of communication open with officers, they’re hoping that the Historical Case Unit will breathe new life into the investigation.
“(The RCMP has) been pretty good about saying that ‘It’s not a closed case, it’s not a closed case,’” Dawn said. “(It’s) just that they don’t have the resources and manpower to put more energy into it. It’s not what they would call a ‘cold case’ or whatever…. But just that there’s not a lot of activity happening on the file, and so now this will allow there to be more activity.”
The fact that the new unit is a topic of conversation is also encouraging, Teresa said, because it means that there will be a greater awareness about unsolved cases, which might encourage people with information to speak to police.
“We’re always hopeful that the case will be solved, but just the idea that it’s shedding more light on it — hopefully, hopefully we’ll get answers soon,” she said.
“There’s lots of support in the community and with the RCMP, it’s just finding the answers and having somebody come forward.”
While the past four years of waiting have been painful for her family, Waugh-Wilson said that she and her sisters know they’re not the only ones. She said she’s optimistic that the Historical Case Unit will be able to bring some relief, if not closure, to families across the Yukon that are still in the dark about what happened to their loved ones.
“We know lots of people who are hurting, lots of people who are hurting, and not just over this case but all the cases. The whole community is hurting all the time…. It seems to be happening way too often in the Yukon. It’s not the Yukon I grew up in, and it’s hard,” she said. “And we’re so thankful that the RCMP have help now to look at these other cases — we’re hopeful for our dad’s, for sure.”
Contact Jackie Hong at firstname.lastname@example.org