Remains found on Blood Tribe Nation identified as missing Lethbridge woman, Helen Purkins

An investigation is underway into the discovery of a body on a southern Alberta First Nation after an autopsy confirmed the deceased was a woman reported missing in Lethbridge in the summer.

The Lethbridge Police Service issued a request for information from the public in August in connection with the disappearance of 48-year-old Helen Purkins.

Purkins, who also has undisclosed ties to the Blood Reserve, had been last seen in the Lethbridge neighbourhood of Indian Battle Heights on July 29.

On Nov. 24, members of the Blood Tribe Police Service responded after the remains — since confirmed to be the missing woman — were found at a location on the north end of the Blood Tribe Nation.

According to Blood Tribe Police Service officials, the body was in an “advanced state of decomposition.”

The nature of Purkins’ death has not been determined and the investigation into both her disappearance and death continues.

“The Blood Tribe Police Service would like to express our sincere condolences to Helen’s family,” said officials in a statement. “They remain in our thoughts as we navigate through this difficult time.”

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