Inquest into woman's death

A public inquest will be held into the death of a Saskatchewan Indigenous woman whose body was found in a British Columbia park.

Deanna Renee Desjarlais, 27, was originally from Saskatoon and a member of the Kawacatoose First Nation in Saskatchewan.

Desjarlais, a sex-trade worker with addiction problems, went to B.C. in late 2015. She had numerous contacts with the health, justice and social services sectors in the months that followed.

She was last heard from in April 2016 and her family reported her missing a month later.

Desjarlais was found dead in Surrey's Hawthorne Park in May 2016, but she was not identified until that September.

The independent inquest into her death will be held on May 7 at the coroners' court in Burnaby. It will look into the circumstances surrounding her death and come up with recommendations that could prevent similar deaths.

It cannot find assign blame or legal responsibility.

After Desjarlais' body was found, a family friend questioned what police did before her remains were identified and why they never publicly released a missing person bulletin with a photo of Desjarlais.

Vancouver police said at the time that they seriously investigated Desjarlais as a missing person, even though they didn't issue a media release.

Police added that they get about 5,000 missing person reports every year, and putting out a dozen releases a day would become "white noise."

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