Missing Dawn Dumond Walker and her son: a timeline

Dawn Dumont Walker and her son Vincent were found in Oregon City, Oregon on August 5, two weeks after they were last seen.

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The disappearance of Dawn Dumont Walker and her son Vincent Jansen in Saskatoon has drawn national attention. The discovery of the pair was the result of a cross-border investigation, and two weeks after their disappearance Walker and Jansen were in the United States. While many questions remain unanswered, here is a timeline of what is known:

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Friday July 22: Dawn Dumont Walker is last in contact with friends and colleagues and was last seen around 6 p.m. at a business in the 300 block of Owen Manor in Saskatoon. She may be with her son, seven-year-old Vincent Jansen, police say.

July 23: A person finds Walker’s purse in the Chief Whitecap Park area just south of Saskatoon and hands it over to the RCMP. Saskatoon police find out two days later.

RCMP Officer Greg Abbott speaks during the second press conference at Chief Whitecap Park where the search continues for Dawn Walker and her 7-year-old son Vincent Jansen on July 26, 2022.
RCMP Officer Greg Abbott speaks during the second press conference at Chief Whitecap Park where the search continues for Dawn Walker and her 7-year-old son Vincent Jansen on July 26, 2022. Photo by Michelle Berg /Star Phoenix of Saskatoon

July 24: Walker, 48, and Jansen go missing when friends are unable to contact them.

July 25: Saskatoon Police and Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron say Walker’s red Ford F150 truck was found around 9 a.m. at Chief Whitecap Park, along with personal effects, recreational items and a blanket. Police said they planned to search the river in the area around Chief Whitecap Park, using ground officers and the police plane.

An Amber Alert was not issued, police said, as they did not believe Walker and Jansen’s disappearance met the requirements of the measure. The criteria typically involve the suspected abduction of a minor, Saskatoon Police Department Deputy Chief Randy Huisman said.

Cameron said the FSIN issued its own Amber Alert via media and social media because “(we) know it wasn’t the official system, but it is our official system.” Walker is the chief operating officer of the FSIN.

Dawn Walker's mother, Theresa Walker, listens to the words of FSIN Vice Chief Heather Bear during the FSIN's second press conference at Chief Whitecap Park on July 26, 2022.
Dawn Walker’s mother, Theresa Walker, listens to the words of FSIN Vice Chief Heather Bear during the FSIN’s second press conference at Chief Whitecap Park on July 26, 2022. Photo by Michelle Berg /Star Phoenix of Saskatoon

July 26: Researchers travel the South Saskatchewan River and surrounding area by air, land, and under and over water.

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Walker’s sister Patricia Dorion is making an emotional plea with her family, asking anyone with information about the couple’s whereabouts to come forward.

Walker was a victim of domestic violence, said FSIN vice chief Heather Bear. However, Bear refuses to make any allegations. A candlelight vigil is held near where the police were investigating.

July 27: RCMP say there is no evidence at this stage of criminal activity. Officers are requesting any relevant surveillance of the Chief Whitecap Park area between 6:30 p.m. July 22 and 9 a.m. July 23.

Relatives, friends and supporters march from Chief Whitecap Park, cross the Gordie Howe Bridge and return to show their support for Dawn Walker and her son Vincent Jansen on July 28, 2022.
Relatives, friends and supporters march from Chief Whitecap Park, cross the Gordie Howe Bridge and return to show their support for Dawn Walker and her son Vincent Jansen on July 28, 2022. Photo by Michelle Berg /Star Phoenix of Saskatoon

July 28: The FSIN organizes a march for Walker and Jansen.

1st of August : A GoFundMe is set up by the family and loved ones of Vincent Jansen, with the aim of offering a $10,000 reward and helping with the search. “The police haven’t found anything recently, and as time goes on we think we should widen the search to a wider area. Vinnie could be anywhere and may even have crossed a border,” reads GoFundMe.

August 2nd : Saskatoon police said they were going through Walker’s cellphone records and bank history, looking for clues or information. Staff Sgt. Grant Obst says his cell phone was not found, but investigators have his phone records.

Chief Cameron vows to offer a reward if another 48 hours pass without locating them.

August 3: The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour, a 2021 novel written by Walker, is up for the 2022 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humor, a Canadian literary award.

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The novel was published under the name Dawn Dumont. She is a prominent Okanese Cree Nation writer, has written four books, and worked as a columnist for Eagle Feather News and the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, where she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in 2017.

5 August : The mother and son were found in Oregon City, Oregon around 11:30 a.m., Saskatoon police and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said.

“Investigators recently succeeded in establishing that the two men entered the United States illegally. The investigation was then able to track them to the location in Oregon City where cross-border law enforcement cooperation was utilized,” police said in a news release.

“Both would be safe and sound. Agency officials are currently working out the details of arranging their return to Canada.

According to police, US authorities are considering “the implications and any potential action as a result of illegal entry into the United States”. Pending any action from US authorities, Dawn Walker will be returned to Saskatoon to meet with investigators, police say. US agencies are working with the SPS to arrange details for Jansen’s return to a legal guardian.

Theresa Walker, Dawn’s mother, said in a statement that the family was “thrilled” to hear the news, but added that she expects more challenges in the days and weeks ahead.

Saskatoon police said the “investigation will continue to proceed expeditiously.”

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August 6: A GoFundMe is created by an unspecified person linked to the Indigenous rights lobby group Idle No More, with the aim of raising $60,000 as a legal fund for Dawn Walker.

“Many Indigenous women feel powerless in the current justice system and that’s when they need strong support,” reads the description of the fundraiser. “We respectfully ask that you support and support Dawn by contributing to her legal defense fund. We must protect our most vulnerable women and children.

Any excess funds raised will be donated to MMIWG2S+ issues, organizers said.

August 7: An evening rally is held in downtown Saskatoon for friends, family and the public to rally in support of Walker.

August 8: A press conference is scheduled with the Saskatoon police.

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