The Day My World Changed Forever

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In 1997, September 1st was a Monday and I missed the evening news as we had company. The first I heard of an unidentified body being found was the next morning when the radio came on to wake me for work.

I rushed to the front door for the paper and this is the picture I saw on the front page of the Edmonton Journal – four men in white body suits carrying a body bag from the field.   I notified RCMP that my daughter had been missing for a month and they asked where her dental records could be obtained.

The headline screamed “Police investigate decomposed body found in Sherwood Park area farm field.”

The article went on to say a young farmer harvesting his crop made a gruesome discovery when he nearly ran over a badly decomposed body. He got off the self-propelled swather to take a closer look and called his parents who contacted the police. The body was described as “not quite skeletal” and the initial investigation was unable to determine if it had been male or female.

The officer said he would get back to me by the end of the day. I knew instinctively that if it were bad news, I would be notified in person. Later that evening a group of people gathered in front of our house and my worst fears were confirmed.

My beautiful happy-go-lucky young adult daughter, who had unfortunately fallen into drug use and disappeared from the streets of Edmonton a month earlier, would no longer be coming home.

As tragic as my story is, it is no longer about me. My heart goes out to all families of the many missing and murdered women and girls of Canada. I have since met other mothers from Edmonton whose daughters have never been found and families who waited years for an answer.  There are far too many stories forgotten, too many cases still unsolved, and too many people wondering what happened to their loved ones.

Somebody somewhere knows something. In fact, there must be many people who know what happened to different young women.  What would it take for these cowards to come forward and share what they know in the name of justice?