Tammy Francis says she will never look at a missing persons poster the same way again.
Her cousin April Parisian, a resident of Spuzzum and a well-known face around Hope, has been missing since early this month. With family organizing searches daily, Tammy said the missing persons poster and its meaning has never felt more real, or heartbreaking.
“We are feeling in our hearts that we know we’re bringing a body home. But it’s just getting that help to find that body,” she said. Without finding her cousin, April will always be a missing person and there will never be closure.
“Living with that horror is just, it’s really unbearable, of just not knowing,” Tammy said, her voice filled with tears.
While heartbreak and tears are there, so is the resolve to act. Family are searching daily, most recently searching areas in Spuzzum First Nation territory where hunters, trappers and off-roaders frequent.
Several Hope and down-Valley residents showed up to search in the bush Sunday. Chilliwack resident Nick Adams said he didn’t think twice about using his experience in the bush to search. It’s what he would want his community to do if these tragic roles were ever reversed.
It’s taxing emotionally on the family, they say, and money is running low as searches stretch up and down the Fraser Canyon and down into the Fraser Valley. Hundreds of dollars are spent on gas for each search and family are asking anyone who can, to donate to the search efforts by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
And Tammy is asking everyone to be vigilant. Whether you decide to look extra carefully on the side of the road while driving by, this could mean the difference in bringing their loved one home.