The brother of a Hope woman who has been missing for over three months has made an emotional appeal for media to do more in helping those searching for their loved ones.
Patrick Pete’s appeal, posted Nov. 5 on a Facebook page dedicated to finding Shawnee Inyallie, asks for media to show more images of missing people to aid families in their search. Nothing has turned up from several river and highway searches for Inyallie, yet organizers are not giving up and are planning another search along Highway 1 from Hope to Boston Bar Sunday.
“In these three and a half months there has been little to no news coverage on any of the missing people,” Pete said in the video. He is Shawnee’s eldest brother.
Shawnee Morita Inyallie, a 29-year-old Indigenous woman from Hope, was reported missing late July. She is described by police as having brown hair, brown eyes, 163 cm (5’4) tall and weighing 54 kg (120 lbs). She is known to spend time in Hope, Agassiz, Chilliwack as well as hitchike along local highways between these communities. She also has family in Prince George.
Pete watches television news every morning and every evening, and it pains him just how rarely he sees any repeats of the people who are missing. It has been ‘taxing on the emotions’ to need help and not be able to get the message out.
“It’s a constant thing, there’s more and more people going missing every day,” he said, adding the updates on missing person’s rarely show Aboriginal people.
“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. I just don’t understand why all these other world events are more important,” he said.
In addition to showing photos of missing people on television news, he also wants to see a missing persons page in newspapers.
“The most important things are missing in our lives. And we just really need the support from the news companies that we have, because that’s where everybody turns to for information,” he implored in the video. “There are so many families out there that are missing a part of them.”
Pete said the family is still waiting to hear back from police about some things they saw in their last river search. While the communication flowed regularly from the RCMP in the early days of Inyallie’s dissapearance, Pete said it has been ‘maddening’ to wait two weeks for replies from officers he has reached out to in Hope and Chilliwack.
Pete said organizers are still looking for volunteers for the Nov. 18 search: they will gather at Memorial Park in Hope at 8 a.m. More information can be found on the Facebook page Finding Shawnee.
It is a challenge feeding volunteers and paying for other parts of the search, so Pete said he is accepting donations to help with the search. “We want to make sure everybody gets fed afterwards, to warm up. Especially at this time of the year,” he said.
He thanks Canex for donating high visibility vests for previous searches, Nations Creations for posters and shirts donated for a vigil and the volunteers for their support.
Is there more to this story?