Paramount+’s “Never Seen Again,” tells the story of Tamra Keepness, a 5-year-old girl who disappeared in July 2004 from Ottawa Street. The girl has never been seen despite hours of investigation, interviews and a $50,000 reward. Despite nearly two decades since her disappearance, the police are still searching for her. Here’s what we know about her disappearance.
What happened to Tamra Keepness’s life?
Tamra Jewel Keepness was born in 1998 to Troy and Lorena Keeps. She was reported missing from her Regina home at the 1800 block of Ottawa Street on July 6, 2004. Tennis, her twin sister, was one of five siblings. The family hails from the White Bear First Nation in southeastern Ontario. The 5-year-old was last seen getting into bed on July 5. According to police reports, Tamra lived with her mother, Dean McArthur, and her partner. Trop and Lorena separated shortly after the birth.
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Dean left the house after a heated argument with Lorena on June 5. According to reports, he met Russell Sheepskin, who occasionally stayed with his family, and they went out for drinks. Lorena stayed for a time with her children before moving them upstairs to a friend’s home a block away. The oldest child was left in charge. According to police reports, Lorena admitted that she had enjoyed a few beers at her friend’s home. Russell returned reportedly at midnight and checked on the children to see if they were still asleep.
Russell later told police that he saw the children asleep in the living room. Dean and Russell reportedly got into a fight around 3 am. Dean allegedly beat Russell so severely that he was admitted to the hospital. Lorena returned to the house shortly afterward and found the doors locked. She entered through a window. Later, she stated that Tamra might have been sleeping on the couch with her siblings while she went upstairs to bed.
Dean stated that he went to his aunt’s house to get some sleep early in the morning. Lorena said that Raine, Tamra’s brother, felt Tamra leave her bed the next morning. The family called the police about an hour later when Tamra was not found anywhere. Regina police conducted one of the largest and most thorough searches in Regina’s history to locate Tamra. They found no evidence of forced entry or struggle at her home.
Is Tamra Still Alive or Dead?
One officer of the Regina Police Department remembered how all the police officers were involved the day Tamra disappeared. The authorities claimed that they had received more than 1,700 tips and conducted hours upon hours of interviews to find Tamra. A $50,000 reward was also offered for information regarding the whereabouts of Tamra since June 2014.
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Lorena called Tamra “little Einstein,” referring to her intelligence. She believes that her child will come back. The mother spoke about the situation and said, “Someone stole my child. That’s all that I know.” Someone stole my child. From day one, I tried to remember everything. What [and] where? Lorena added that she tried to tell the police. She’s not gone to me at all. She can always come home, I believe.”
Each year, the city holds an annual barbecue at Regina’s Pepsi Park on the anniversary of Tamra’s disappearance. It is believed that it serves as a reminder to the family and makes them feel they are not the only ones searching for their child. Erica Beaudin, executive director of Regina/Treaty Status Indian Services, stated, “There are others who miss her, and who wonder where she is, and who support them as a Family in bringing her home.” This is even after 18 years of her disappearance.