Mariella Lennie: An Unsolved Murder From Yellowknife In 1992.

The family of this 17 year old high school student say the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have not told them how she died. It has been ruled a murder though. This young woman was last seen near the Discovery Inn on 6th October 1991.

Yellowknife, Northern Territory.

12 days later she was reported missing. She had grown up in Tulita in the Northern Territory which is about 604 km ( 370 miles) north west of where she was last seen. Her folks had felt it was the right thing to do if Ms Lennie moved to the city to complete her education. This had only been done the month before.

She was last seen at about 6 pm leaving the Discovery Inn. From what I can see this place is on Franklin Avenue.

A 2008 view of the Discovery Inn. There was a bar on the upper floor.

She was to stay with relatives and I do not know why she was not reported missing for almost two weeks. One report says she only stayed with an aunt for a short time before moving to her cousin’s place. Sadly her body was found floating in the waters of the Great Slave Lake the following May. The location was only a nine minute drive from where she was last seen.

Mariella Lennie

Her father, Wilfred, was interviewed in a CBC article in 2015. He was critical of the police handling and said they had not even told him how his daughter had died.

I have come across cases in the past where the police are reluctant to say what the cause of death was. One that springs to mind is that of Katrina Jefferies in NZ. I  got the impression there it was because the method might be something they used to weed out false confessions. On other occasions the circumstances indicate a homicide, but the body has degraded to the extent no clear method can be identified. For example if a victim has been in the water for a long time and the autopsy cannot find any sign of cuts or gun shot injury.

There is so little about this poor woman in the press. There are four references online the most recent being by an online, local source called The Yellowknifer.

There is more detail there than anywhere. They say this lady’s body was found  partially clothed and missing a shoe. They also state the police said there was no obvious cause of death but there was evidence of a blow to her head. The way the information is written it seems to suggest there was doubt that she had been in the water for all the time she had been missing.

‘ Yellowknifer consulted with a diving expert who said a body floating for months and found in this condition was very unlikely.’

The news outlet also suggested there may have been a link between Ms Lennie’s death and those of Charlene Catholique in 1990 and Mary Rose Keadjuk in the same year. Also mentioned is the 1996 attack on, and later death of, Dorothy Georgina Abel.  All three cases were either in or near Yellowknife.

Discovery Inn is at the north end of the line. The Gold Range Hotel is at the other end. It was at the Gold Range that Mary Rose Keadjuk had been staying.

Not only was Mariella Lennie so young she should have had many decades of life to look forward to she left a son behind. Her disappearance and murder reminds me of a UK case. 13 year old Lindsay Jo Rimer vanished while running an errand to a 7/11 style store. Her body was found months later floating in a canal about a kilometre away from the shop she visited. Despite the best efforts of police no-one has ever been charged with that murder either.

If any of this reminds you of some information useful to the cops I have put the RCMP contact number below.

Take Care


Have you any information? NT RCMP Major Crimes Unit at RCMP 867-669-1111