Janine Vautour, Makayla Chang’s mother, samples icing while dishing out birthday cake Friday at Maffeo Sutton Park on what would have been Chang’s 18th birthday. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Janine Vautour, Makayla Chang’s mother, samples icing while dishing out birthday cake Friday at Maffeo Sutton Park on what would have been Chang’s 18th birthday. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Murdered B.C. teen remembered on what would have been her 18th birthday

Makayla Chang’s family and friends in Nanaimo still hoping for answers and closure

On Makayla Chang’s birthday, the community sang her Happy Birthday, had cake, and made a wish for justice.

A celebration was held Friday evening at a Nanaimo for Chang on what would have been her 18th birthday. The teen went missing two weeks after her 16th birthday in 2017 and was found murdered that spring.

Nearly two years later, and a person has yet to be charged in her death.

“Not knowing anything is frustrating; it’s really frustrating,” said Kerry Chang, Makayla’s father. “We know absolutely nothing [more] than we did two years ago. We really don’t know anything whatsoever, not where she was found, how she died.”

Kerry Chang said “somebody out there knows something” and that was motivation to open her birthday up to the community and keep her case in the public eye.

“It’s been a long two years and we’re still looking for some closure,” he said.

He’s also concerned that the person responsible could cause further harm.

“I’ve never heard of anyone who harms children who just harms one and that’s what’s bothersome to me,” he said. “They’re walking amongst us and it’s scary.”

About 150 people were at the park Friday and signed a card for Makayla, flipped through a photo album and watched a slide show of happy memories of her with family and friends, taking selfies, dancing, and trying to eat a spoonful of cinnamon.

Lily Morice, who was friends with Makayla, said there are a lot of people in the community who cared about her. Morice said she doesn’t hear much about how the investigation is going and hopes the authorities are working as hard as they possibly can.

“I just hope someone figures it out,” she said. “It’s time for her to let her rest easy instead of trying to figure out what happened.”

She said Makayla always wanted to make other people feel good and had a rare ability to light up a room just by walking in. Morice said she loves her friend very much and misses her.

“She was an amazing person,” Morice said. “It should have been her birthday today – a birthday party, not to mourn.”

RELATED: Nanaimo youths creating mural in memory of Makayla Chang



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Chilliwack driver’s vehicle was impounded for seven days after an excessive speeding violation. (RCMP photo)
RCMP catch Chilliwack driver doing 60 km/h over posted speed limit

The motorist was hit with a big ticket and a seven day vehicle impoundment

Glenwood Seniors Community is the second long term care home in Agassiz to have a COVID-19 outbreak. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Glenwood Seniors Community in Agassiz

The long term care home is the second of Agassiz’s three facilities to have an outbreak

UFV assistant kinesiology professor Dr. Iris Lesser exercises along Chilliwack's Vedder Rotary Trail with her daughter Kaia. (UFV photo)
UFV study finds women with reduced physical activity had more mental health struggles during COVID pandemic

The study suggested women suffered more than men as gyms, parks and playgrounds shut down

Sardis Falcons alumni Rick Klassen led the B.C. Lions to a Grey Cup championship in 1985.
Sardis secondary football field to be named after Rick Klassen

Klassen, a Sardis grad, led the B.C. Lions to a Grey Cup championship in 1985

Eva Pucci Couture in this file shot from May 29, 2019, when she came to Chilliwack asking for the public’s help in locating her missing son, Kristofer Shawn Couture. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Missing man’s mom still hopeful, 2 years after his car was found abandoned at Chilliwack trail

‘I wish someone would come forward with insight into your whereabouts,’ pleads mom of missing man

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Driver crashes vehicle twice in one day near Princeton

Abbotsford woman, 29, wasn’t injured in either incident

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.

Most Read