Updated July 11th, 2001

Censored report on Tran murder investigation is released to media

Barry Gerding
Capital News editor

One of the internal investigative reports that clears the Kelowna RCMP of any legal wrongdoing in the Mindy Tran investigation has finally been released to the media.

Kelowna RCMP Supt. Don Harrison told the Capital News last November that the report had exonerated the local detachment of allegations of witness tampering and withholding of evidence.

But the report was not released to the media at that time despite freedom of information applications from the Capital News to see the report.

On Monday, the report was released in a heavily censored format, with all third party names referred to in the report blanked out to protect their privacy rights under the the Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

A final investigation into the handling of this case, an administrative file review by senior RCMP staff in Alberta, has yet to be released.

Tran disappeared Aug. 17,1994, and was last seen placing her bike on the front lawn of a home near her Taylor Street residence and walking towards the front door.

She was never seen again until her body was discovered Oct. 11 in Mission Creek Park.

Shannon Murrin, who was staying as a guest at the house Tran was last seen approaching, was eventually charged with her murder and was acquitted of the charges following a trial in February 2000.

The fallout from that verdict raised several allegations both from a VTV television news report and Murrin’s legal counsel about how the case was handled by the lead investigator, former Staff. Sgt. Gary Tidsbury.

Among the allegations were of evidence being intentionally destroyed, discrepancies about where Tran’s bike was found and that a jailhouse informant and proven liar was used to testify in the trial.

The informant said Murrin told him while both were incarcerated that he carried out the crime

It was also alleged that police turned a blind eye while allowing three friends of Murrin to try and beat a confession out of him at Mission Park and that one Kelowna officer on the case admitted privately to a superior that he had done something wrong during the course of the Tran investigation that he could go to jail for.

All of those accusations were addressed in the report and determined to be absent of any legal wrongdoing.

"In considering all the facts surrounding the allegation of the parties involved, we, the investigators … are of the opinion that there is no substantive evidence that would indicate any turth or validity to the allegations set forth," states the final conclusion of the report.


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