Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut September 13, 2017 - 8:00 am

Nunavut RCMP fail to connect with Cape Dorset fugitive

Uncommunicative Cape Dorset man continues to elude police

JANE GEORGE
Nine weeks and counting: David Mikkigak, 37, wanted by police on a number of charges, is still at large around the community of Cape Dorset, where some of its roughly 1,500 residents, continue to help him out with food and supplies. (FILE PHOTO)
Nine weeks and counting: David Mikkigak, 37, wanted by police on a number of charges, is still at large around the community of Cape Dorset, where some of its roughly 1,500 residents, continue to help him out with food and supplies. (FILE PHOTO)

It was, perhaps, wishful thinking when the Nunavut RCMP said Aug. 28 they had finally made contact with Cape Dorset fugitive David Mikkigak, 37, who has eluded police for nine weeks.

In any case, the Nunavut RCMP admitted Sept. 12 that its negotiators still haven’t managed to establish any direct communication with Mikkigak.

That admission came after the RCMP said they said they had been talking to Mikkigak through a third party.

This effort apparently failed.

Two weeks later, the latest word from RCMP is that Mikkigak refused to accept the satellite phone sent to him by the RCMP and he said he doesn’t want to talk to the RCMP.

If Mikkigak accepts the phone, “that will be huge for us” said Sgt. Denis Lambe.

“We’re still trying to bridge that gap.”

If Mikkigak communicates with the RCMP, their hope is that this could clear up any wrong ideas that he might have about his future.

“We could straighten it out. We could talk about the charges he’s facing, have his lawyer talk to him,” Lambe said. “We could develop that trust and then we could go from there.”

Mikkigak, who has a record of violent crime, is wanted for a number of criminal offences including assault and forcible confinement, alleged to have occurred in June—and, more recently, for firearms-related offences.

Right now, Mikkigak is where he’s been for weeks, about an hour by boat from Cape Dorset, in a cabin whose location is known to the RCMP.

However, the last time the RCMP had direct contact with Mikkigak dates back to July when he spoke to an RCMP officer in Cape Dorset from a boat.

“He didn’t swear at the member,” Lambe told Nunatsiaq News. “He said ‘when I am ready to come in the fall I’ll come in.’”

Mikkigak didn’t get out of the boat before leaving town with the message that “when summer is over I’ll come in.”

“His isolation is a help and a hindrance,” Lambe said, because if Mikkigak returns to town, police will know. “So that’s a bonus for us.”

Meanwhile, Mikkigak is not hurting anyone, Lambe said, and his girlfriend remains with him willingly.

The RCMP are aware that people from Cape Dorset continue to visit Mikkigak regularly, bringing the couple food and supplies—despite pleas from the RCMP to stop helping him.

“As much as that protracts this for us, it’s something I would expect,” said Lambe, who has spent 22 years in Nunavut. “I know Inuit aren’t going to let someone on the land starve. They’re going to try to help them. They’ll tell everyone, ‘I brought them gas,’ so we expect that.”

The RCMP still want to try to bring Mikkigak in peacefully.

The best case scenario would be to see him arrive back in Cape Dorset by boat and walk up to the detachment to give himself up.

“Everything’s being discussed,” Lambe said of the current situation. “The main thing for us is to open communication with him in the next day or so. We just want to talk with him.”

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