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Cape Dorset fugitive arrested
David Mikkigak surrenders following three-month manhunt

Derek Neary
Northern News Services
Monday, September 25, 2017

Fugitive David Mikkigak surrendered to an RCMP emergency response team outside his cabin on Friday afternoon.

He had been on the run from police for close to three months.

The arrest followed several hours of negotiations with the police officers on site and with crisis negotiators operating out of Cape Dorset. A Transport Canada plane also circled above to give the police some critical surveillance details.

"He was giving us some clues that he wanted to give himself up," RCMP Staff Sgt. Mark Crowther said, noting that Mikkigak had a satellite phone for communications. "At the same time, he was scared. He's lost a lot of weight. He was cold. He was hungry."

The police, who were on the ground shortly after 8 a.m., had to exercise caution, knowing Mikkigak, 37, was in possession of firearms, Crowther said.

"We had to be very careful," he said.

Some relief came a few hours into negotiations when Mikkigak's girlfriend and a female relative exited the cabin.

"That was a very positive sign for us," said Crowther.

Mikkigak surrendered at 1:50 p.m.

"He signalled and we called him out in a controlled manner and our members moved in right quickly and took him in," Crowther said, although he wouldn't reveal how many officers participated in the tactical operation.

The location of Mikkigak's island hideout, 40 km from Cape Dorset, proved to be one of the most challenging aspects of the manhunt, Crowther acknowledged.

"That was part of our difficulty, getting there and getting there safely and, of course, not being detected. This is why this has gone on for so long," he said. "Because this was such a distance away, we could afford to let this go as long as it did, but it was coming to a point where we had to end things, and that's what we did (Friday)."

Mikkigak, who was charged with forcible confinement and assault earlier this year, was due to appear before a justice of the peace later on Friday, following Nunavut News/North's deadline. The justice of the peace would determine whether Mikkigak would be held in custody until his next court appearance.

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