Jessica Patrick-Balczer was 18 when she gave her one-year-old daughter a protracted hug goodbye and advised her grandmother she’d return quickly for her child.
No person in her household heard from her once more.
The Lake Babine First Nations teen was final seen Aug. 31, 2018 at a motel on Freeway 16 in Smithers, B.C., a couple of days earlier than she was formally reported lacking.
Twelve days later, relations discovered the younger mom’s physique. They vowed she wouldn’t turn out to be one other chilly case sufferer like so many earlier than her who disappeared alongside the Freeway of Tears, the stretch of freeway from Prince George to Prince Rupert the place dozens of ladies — largely Indigenous — have been murdered or gone lacking for the reason that 1970s.
Most of the greater than 200 individuals at a vigil after her demise wore purple, in honour of lacking and murdered Indigenous ladies.
However two years later they really feel they’re no nearer to the reality about her demise and, regardless of repeated calls for for RCMP motion, some really feel they’re doing the police work themselves.
As with all investigations into suspicious deaths, the RCMP cannot say a lot.
“[The case] stays lively and ongoing, nonetheless there isn’t a new info or updates presently,” wrote Cpl. Madonna Saunderson after consulting with North District Main Crime investigators.
‘By no means misplaced contact with household’
Jacquie Bowes remembers her youthful cousin was at all times smiling.
“She was at all times bubbly and goofy and by no means misplaced contact together with her household,” stated Bowes.
However Bowes believes her cousin had struggles, rising up in foster care as her mother and father struggled with intergenerational trauma and substance abuse points.
“She’s been in survival mode her entire whole life. She by no means let different individuals in on her distress. She was at all times attempting to uplift others,” stated Bowes.
“Her daughter was the diamond in her eyes. She needed to offer her daughter the life that she did not have.”
Bowes says Patrick-Balczer gave her youngster “the longest hug earlier than she left, like she at all times does,” and promised to be again.
It was apparent one thing was mistaken when she didn’t return, leaving her youngster with the grandmother, and failing to make contact for days, Bowes stated.
“Lots of people simply thought she was out partying, however that wasn’t the case. Not Jessica. She at all times stayed in contact together with her daughter. She at all times discovered Wi-Fi,” stated Bowes.
Patrick-Balczer was final seen on the Mountain View Motel on Aug. 31.
Bowes stated there was a giant get together there, and police have been known as to cope with a struggle.
RCMP confirmed Patrick-Balczer was reported lacking Sept. 3.
Her prolonged household organized search events once they noticed no apparent motion from police.
On Sept. 6, RCMP put out a information launch concerning the lacking girl.
RCMP advised CBC that a number of searches have been performed and warrants have been obtained to attempt to establish anybody concerned in her disappearance.
On Sept. 15, Bowes’ mom, frantic to search out her lacking relative, was drawn to a neighborhood ski hill northwest of Smithers.
“One thing led her there,” stated Bowes.
On the high of Hudson Bay Mountain, household scanned for circling birds and peered over the slippery embankment, the place they noticed a physique.
Patrick-Balczer was discovered about 15 metres beneath, not removed from a discarded washer. Her lengthy hair was fanned over her face. She nonetheless wore the white tank high and ballerina flats she was carrying the day she hugged her youngster goodbye.
“Her tank high was pushed up just under her breasts, like she was positioned there,” stated Bowes.
RCMP confirmed days later the physique was that of Jessica Patrick-Balczer.
The information despatched ripples of ache and anger by way of the Smithers group.
A 12 months later many gathered on the lookout close to the place she was discovered to position a cross.
‘Nothing was finished’
RCMP have repeatedly stated to the household and in press releases that the case is a precedence.
Bowes says she has helped liaise between the household and police, providing investigators clues and a suspect who knew her cousin.
“Two years, nonetheless nothing. They are saying they’d these leads. Prices have been going to occur. Arrests have been going to occur. Nothing was finished. I really feel like they’re giving us the run-around.”