Family and police say they are very concerned for Shawnee Morita Inyallie of Hope as her disappearance for several days is ‘out of character’ for the 29-year-old.
Police are conducting a ‘thorough’ search for Inyallie, said Cpl. Darryl Peppler with the Hope RCMP, including a search of the Fraser River and contact with various organizations and Inyallie’s family. Her family has also been in full-on search mode this week, canvassing social service organizations and places where homeless people congregate in Hope and Chilliwack.
The family has also been receiving tips and working them into a timeline which ends abruptly Thursday, July 19 before 2 p.m.
Inyallie’s aunt Linda Kay Peters is asking anyone who has seen her after that to get in contact with the family or the RCMP. As they are being inundated with sightings, Peters asked only those with firsthand accounts of seeing Inyallie to contact them. The family also does not know what she was wearing last, information which could aid the search.
Two worrying factors are that Inyallie left her backpack with medication at her mother’s house and she hasn’t cashed her weekly cheque, which is very unlike her Peters said.
Peters is worried for Inyallie as she is very friendly and sometimes naive with people. She accepts rides from strangers and talks to anyone: Peters fears she could be talked into going somewhere with someone.
Family have been meeting daily and receiving daily updates from the RCMP, who are also conducting their own search as Inyallie’s disappearance for this many days is ‘out of character’ for her.
“It’s a missing person file, we’re putting resources into it. We’re keeping in contact with the family. We had search and rescue go out on the river (Sunday),” Cpl. Peppler said.
“We’re following up at the homeless camp and with HATS, the Hope and area transition people…We’re following up with Fraser Health, make sure she’s not in hospital care anywhere.”
Hope Volunteer Search and Rescue searched parts of the Fraser River in the immediate vicinity of Hope, including around Bristol Island and out to the airpark, as well as on the other side of the river around Croft Island.
“As police, when she’s around we would have daily contact with her — whether it’s a file because she’s out panhandling or it’s just a street check. But even family haven’t heard from her, and that’s where the concern comes from,” he said.
The RCMP has no further information as to her whereabouts, saying she could be just out with friends or something more sinister could have happened to her.
Inyallie has family in Prince George, one of whom is heading down to Hope to assist with the search, so it is possible she could be on her way there. A poster the family is distributing states she may have gone to Chilliwack or Surrey, she is known to hitchike to Chawathil First Nation and to Chilliwack.
“Police and family are concerned for Shawnee’s well-being and believe she may be in need of medical assistance,” Cpl. Mike Rail, spokesperson with the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment of the RCMP, stated July 21.
Inyallie is described by police as an aboriginal female with black hair and brown eyes, 163 centimetres tall (5’4) weighing 54 kilograms (120 pounds).
Anyone with knowledge of her whereabouts is asked to contact Hope RCMP at 604-869-7750 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
The family is also accepting donations of gas and grocery cards to help with the search, as many of Inyallie’s aunties and family members are spending most of their days searching for her in addition to planning the funeral of a recently deceased relative.
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