PHOTOS: Searchers go into Spuzzum backcountry to look for April Parisian

Carmel Crowchild led a dozen searchers to the Spuzzum backcountry based on a vision she saw involving her niece April Parisian, who has been missing since early this month. Emelie Peacock/ Hope Standard
Carmel Crowchild led a dozen searchers to the Spuzzum backcountry based on a vision she saw involving her niece April Parisian, who has been missing since early this month. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
Hunters led the search into the Spuzzum backcountry. It is one of several the family have organized since they reported Parisian missing April 15. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
Searchers prepare for a backcountry search of the traditional unceded lands of the Spuzzum First Nation. April Parisian, 45, is a resident of the Fraser Canyon community of Spuzzum. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
A missing persons poster adorns the back of Carmel Crowchild’s truck. The search was held on Crowchild’s 50th birthday, an emotional time for her and Parisian’s family while they keep organizing community searches daily. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
Tammy Francis, left, embraces Carmel Crowchild. Francis thanked the people who came out to search, some who didn’t know April, describing her cousin as a “loving, beautiful person…whatever happened to her, we can’t say, she didn’t deserve it.” Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
This searcher brought a backpack for her puppy to fit in, should he get tired or be at risk of predators. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
Hunters lead the search in forested areas around Spuzzum’s forest service road Sunday, challenging terrain search leader Carmel Crowchild, right, warned searchers about. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
Nick Adams came to the search with his father-in-law John Mandin. “I’ve got my rifle for protection, machete, jacket, helmet and my eyes to see, hopefully find her,” Adams said. “I would hope that people would do this for me.” Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

Guided by a vision she had shortly before April Parisian was reported missing, her aunt Carmel Crowchild led a group of searchers experienced in the Fraser Canyon backcountry Sunday.

The vision Crowchild saw began with her blue healer, trained to be her search dog, alerting her to a spiritual presence in her home. “The hair on my body stood up, because I felt like there was something in my house,” she said.

She saw a bear – her Anishinaabe family’s clan is the bear clan – and standing beside him was April’s great grandmother Dorothy Macquabeak Francis. Carmel then saw where to look for her loved one, a vision involving the backcountry switchback roads and a creek that empties out into the Fraser.

After Sunday’s search, the family said they will continue to search for their loved one. Money is running low, they say, and are appealing for donations via searchforapril@gmail.com. “We’re out here until we find her,” Crowchild said.

“The RCMP have been very helpful to my family,” she added. “This is the first time I’ve ever seen an RCMP presence at any Indigenous search.”

After Sunday’s search, April’s cousin Tammy Francis said the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) will now be called up to the area where searching was done. IHIT are leading of the investigation into Parisian’s disappearance.



emelie.peacock@hopestandard.com

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