A search for Shawnee Inyallie, a 29-year-old Hope woman, has come to a sad ending this morning as RCMP confirm her body has been found.
Inyallie’s body was found Nov. 4 by the Fraser River in Delta, media liaison officer with the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment Mike Rail confirmed. So far there is no evidence of criminality, Rail said, but the Hope RCMP and the BC Coroners Service continue their investigation and follow up from tips which stretch back to July.
Inyallie’s family was informed of her death last night. Patrick Pete, Inyallie’s eldest brother, posted a message on Facebook this morning stating “the search for Shawnee has come to a sad end.”
When reached today, Inyallie’s aunt Linda Peters said it was a relief knowing she has been found as many families wait 10 to 20 years to know what happened to their loved ones, if they ever find out. The family will be sharing more with the community tomorrow, after they have had a chance to come together.
Inyallie went missing around the middle of July, the exact date she was last seen is not clear, and July 21 police issued a call for public assistance.
Peters, who organized several searches for her missing niece, told The Hope Standard in late July Inyallie had left her backpack with medication at her mother’s house and hadn’t cashed her weekly cheque, both of which were out of character for her.
The family has organized numerous searches of local highways and the Fraser River since she disappeared, turning up empty-handed after each search yet refusing to give up hope. Police have also kept up an active investigation, Hope RCMP Staff Sgt. Karol Rehdner said, including following up on tips that come in, talking with social service agencies and conducting searches.
During an Aug. 2 search of homeless camps in Chilliwack, Inyallie’s mother Rena Monroe and her aunts spoke of how kind and trusting Inyallie is. “She’s a very happy-go-lucky girl, she talks to everyone,” Monroe said.
Peters worried her niece’s trusting and sometimes naive nature could have resulted in someone talking her into going somewhere with them.
Inyallie was known to visit the Fraser Valley communities of Agassiz and Chilliwack from her home in Hope and Chawathil First Nation, often hitchhiking along local highways. She also had family in Prince George.
On Nov. 5, Pete posted an emotional appeal for more media attention to a Facebook page dedicated to finding Inyallie. He asked that media companies do more to show photos of missing people and keep the story alive for the families still hoping to reunite with their loved ones.
“I’m watching the news and all I ever see are things about animals, stuff like that, meanwhile there are people sitting in their houses mourning the loss of their family members that they can’t find,” he said.
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