Skip to main content

'She's just another one': Mother of Indigenous woman found dead slams police response


The mother of an Indigenous woman found dead in Richmond, B.C., is furious with police.

After months of relentlessly searching for her only child, Natasha Harrison received a phone call on Aug. 5 that brought those efforts to a tragic close.

Her daughter, 20-year-old Tatyanna Harrison had been identified as the woman found dead inside a yacht at a Richmond marina on May 2.

"I tried real hard, I love her very much,” a tearful Harrison told CTV News Friday.

Harrison says she first became worried about Tatyanna back in April after she stopped replying to text messages and calls.

She says that was often a sign that her daughter, who started using drugs back in 2021, was struggling.

After hearing Tatyanna may be in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, Harrison filed a police report with the Vancouver Police Department on May 3.

She says she began her own search of the DTES, then on June 5, submitted a DNA sample to police.

On July 14, Richmond RCMP released a sketch and description of a woman whose remains had been found in the yacht.

Mounties described that woman as "caucasian," in her 30s or 40s, standing 5'5" tall and weighing 90 pounds. Harrison has been described by police as 5'1" tall and slim.

“It was the wrong description, how do you get her height wrong? You measured her right?” said Harrison.

"I'm furious with how my daughter was handled,” she said.

Vancouver police said the coroner’s early report indicated Tatyanna died from fentanyl toxicity but did not provide any further details surrounding the circumstances of her death.

However, the B.C. Coroner’s Service told CTV News Friday that their investigation into the death remains open.

VPD have also left the file open.

Harrison says she was told by Richmond RCMP that they’ve deemed the death non-suspicious and have closed the case.

"The fact that my daughter was found wearing only a turtleneck shirt with no pants, no underwear, no shoes, and no socks is very suspicious,” she said.

“That is out of her character, she has never been involved in anything in the sex trade.”

Harrison says it’s another case of an Indigenous woman’s death being brushed aside too quickly.

“We find it’s very common among the Indigenous community and people with addiction."

“Those are the cases that are being swept under the rug when there’s clearly something criminal going on,” she adds.

"Tatyanna's story is not unique, she's just another one, they just keep doing it."

CTV News reached out to Richmond RCMP for comment, but were re-directed to the B.C. Coroners Service.

Harrison said she’s scheduled a meeting at the detachment next week, in which she plans to present evidence she hopes will convince them to re-open the case.

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Lisa Steacy. Top Stories

Stay Connected