It’s been eight years since Maddy went missing.
Madison (Maddy) Scott was 20 years old when she went missing in 2011. As per numerous reports, she went down Blackwater Road on the night of May 27, 2011. Maddy had gone to attend a party at Hogsback Lake, a Forest Service Campsite approximately 25 kms south of Vanderhoof.
|Since Madison Scott's tragic disappearance eight years ago, posters and signs, like this one, have been put up around northern B.C. (File photo)|
“It was a normal regular Friday. We had done lunch that day and Maddy went camping and went out to Hogsback and forgot the wrong tent for the poles, so came back home and went back out there, and everything was just normal. It was a normal, regular day,” said Dawn Scott, Maddy’s mother.
“I was texting her at 11:30 p.m. that night and we were talking about a song and everything was just fine. I said ‘Good night, have fun, talk to you tomorrow.’ So I think it is just that between 3:30 am and 8 a.m., that is the magic time where she went missing. Because she was seen at 3:30 a.m. and somebody was back at 8ish,” she said.
Since Maddy went missing, her parents Eldon and Dawn, have held the annual poker ride at Hogsback Lake to raise awareness about their daughter. This year the event is being held on May 25 at the Mapes Community Hall near Hogsback Lake. Here participants can ride (horseback or ATV) or walk the trails with Maddy’s family and friends in the area she went missing.
“We host it in the area where she went missing and not so much that we are looking for Maddy there. It is more that she went missing there, so that has an impact on people and helps raise more awareness,” Scott explained.
In past years, the event has attracted approximately 500 people, she said, adding that the community has been very supportive.
“I feel Maddy is alive and she is waiting. And people ask me ‘How do you carry on?’” Her response, she said, is, “How do you not?”
There are some people who have mentioned to the Scotts that they should take Maddy’s posters down as enough time has passed. Scott, while tearing up, said that it is different when a child is missing and not dead.
“I think that is so different. It is the unknown and that’s what you live with constantly. I don’t know. It’s so hard. It’s a blessing and a curse that life carries on. I wish everything could stop but that doesn’t happen,” she said.
Theresa Philips, one of Maddy’s friends, said the posters of Maddy around town are to educate people. Philips used to play women’s hockey with Maddy and currently coaches the girls’ hockey team through Vanderhoof minor hockey.
She said when her players walk by Maddy’s poster in the arena before they get onto the ice, maybe they will think twice before they party Friday night. “Or maybe they are thinking that they need a buddy system. If they just think about it when they look at her poster, it educates them.”
“I think the posters should open conversation and not close conversation. It is a horrible thing. If it can happen to Maddy, it can happen to anyone,” Philips said.
The Scotts and their friends have collaborated with search and rescue teams, the ministry of forests, RCMP and others during the past eight years.
Philips said she remembers the first meeting they had with major crimes unit eight years ago.
“They likened the search to a spider web. So first they started with the closest people to her and if they saw nothing, then they branched out. Like for instance, Maddy and I were together two weeks before she went missing, so I was looked into and so were my connections. So it keeps branching further and further out.”
The area where Maddy went missing has been covered by foot, air, dogs, horses, Scott said.
“You couldn’t even imagine the scope. And I really truly believe that if she was dead around in the area we would have found her. I really truly believe that,” she added.
Meanwhile, if anyone has information about Maddy, calling the RCMP with the tip is the best way to help the family, Philips said.
They get thousands of tips but sometimes people will call the Scotts directly and say they have seen Maddy, but the family cannot turn over that information to the RCMP as it’s considered hearsay.
“People need to call it in themselves. For instance, people will say they are in Vancouver at a food shelter and call Dawn and say they think they saw Madison. But you need to contact the RCMP first and give them that information as once you tell the family it becomes third-party information,” Philips explained.
She said she is grateful of all the tips they have received over the years and would like to urge the same kind of support. The RCMP have been very helpful, Philips said, noting they have taken Maddy’s case very seriously and the family has a good working relationship with the police force.
As for any movement or updates on Maddy’s case, Scott said the RCMP does not update the family if they receive tips. As Maddy’s file is open and active, the police force does not want to jeopardize the case in any way, she added.
“We know nothing more than we knew on the first day she went missing.
“We have struck some things off the list. Ruled some things out but we know more than the general public obviously, but nothing to help find Maddy. We are better to stay positive than negative for sure. Because we have to keep moving forward… Sadly it is dragging out. I can’t believe it’s been so long. We all thought we would go out there and find her,” Scott said.
People with information about Maddy can contact the Vanderhoof RCMP at 250-567-2222 or to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. Alternately mail Box 1190 Vanderhoof, B.C. VOJ-3A0
Scott said it is important that people don’t forget Maddy is missing.
“She is not murdered, she is missing and people need to be aware of that.”
Madonna Saunderson with North District RCMP confirmed that the investigation to find Maddy is active and ongoing.