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'Her life was stolen' : Police and family continue to search for answers 10 years after Tanya Brooks' murder

The 36-year-old's body was found in a basement window well of St. Patrick's-Alexandra School just after 2 p.m. on May 11, 2009
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(Photo courtesy of Halifax Regional Police)

A memorial rally took place Friday morning to remember Tanya Jean Brooks and mark the 10th anniversary of the last day she was seen alive.

"She was kind, loving, an amazing mom, a talented artist. She was vivacious and full of life. She may have made wrong decisions in her life but that doesn't define who she was as a person," said Brooks' little sister Vanessa.

"She just had a very beautiful soul."

The 36-year-old's body was found in a basement window well of St. Patrick's-Alexandra School just after 2 p.m. on May 11, 2009.

This morning, a group met at the Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre and walked down Cornwallis Street to the former school site for a prayer, smudging ceremony and moment of silence.

Vanessa said it was an emotional, yet empowering event.

"To take back that space and create something positive and beautiful in a place, that for me, has always felt dark, dirty and cold," she told NEWS 95.7's The Sheldon MacLeod Show. "Today we brought joy, laughter and strength."

According to the province's Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program, Tanya Brooks was known to frequent the Gottingen Street area.

The mother of five left the Halifax Regional Police Headquarters at about 8:20 p.m. on May 10, 2009, and police are able to track her movements until around 9 p.m. that night.

Investigators believe she knew her assailant(s). They are urging anyone who witnessed anything in the area of the school around that time to contact them.

"Her life was stolen ... those that may have heard, or thought they heard anything that may have appeared insignificant, please call the tip line," Vanessa pleaded. "If you know something, give our family the justice that we need."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 902-490-5016 or submit an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers.

The case is also part of the Nova Scotia's Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program which offers up to $150,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. All calls to 1-888-710-9090 are recorded and those who come forward through that route have to provide their name and contact information, and may be called to testify in court.


Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for
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