EDMONTON — The remains of an Alberta Mountie exhumed seven months ago after a bitter family dispute have yet to be reburied in the RCMP national cemetery.
The RCMP confirmed Wednesday that the body of Const. Leo Johnston, which was disinterred Dec. 15 from his home town’s cemetery at his widow’s request, has not yet been laid to rest at the force’s training depot in Regina.
Johnston was one of four Mounties killed in March 2005 by a gunman near Mayerthorpe, Alta.
Grace Johnston, Leo’s mother, who staunchly opposed moving the body, said her family can’t get information about where his remains are now or when they will be reburied.
“We don’t know where he is,” Johnston said. “Today is seven months since he was dug up. ”
“I am his mother. Do I not have a right to know where my son’s remains may end up being? Doesn’t any parent have the right to know where their child’s remains are?”
Kelly Johnston, Leo’s widow, was unavailable for comment. She had her husband’s remains cremated after they were exhumed.
Her lawyer, Chelsea Bailey, said plans to rebury the officer’s remains at the RCMP cemetery are in the works. She declined to say when the private service will take place or if Kelly Johnston’s estranged relatives will be invited.
“Kelly is currently making plans to do the reinterment and I understand that that will be going forward quite shortly,” said Bailey.
Kelly Johnston is required by law to reinter the body under the provisions of the permit she received from the Alberta government to exhume it.