‘I feel that I have failed you’: mother asks for help finding Mekayla Bali
Editor’s note: This story was originally published July 8, but was updated July 20 with the information of an extended child search alert.
As Mekayla Bali’s disappearance reaches past three months, family members and RCMP are asking for the public’s help.
The Missing Children Society of Canada sent an update Wednesday, saying a child search alert for Bali has been activated in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Bali, who was 16 at the time of her disappearance, was last seen at the STC bus depot on 1st Avenue North in Yorkton, Sask. at 1:45 p.m. CT on April 12.
She was reported missing the same day.
Mekayla’s mother, Paula, who spoke at an update in Regina, said the last time the family has heard from Mekayla when she was dropped off at school that morning.
She also said it is out of character for Mekayla not to be in contact with her family
“That feeling of not knowing if you are alright is beyond heartbreaking. It is unspeakable pain and worry, ” Paula said tearfully.
“I feel that I have failed you in my most important role in life as a mother because I can’t protect you right now.”
This week was Mekayla’s seventeenth birthday, Paula said.
“Mekayla, 17 years ago, my first whispered words to you were it’s me and you against the world,” Paula said.
“I pray for you to have peace, love and hope until that time when I will again hear your voice, feel your hugs and again touch your beautiful face.”
Insp. Jennifer Ebert, with the RCMP “F” Division South District, also spoke on Friday and said investigators have determined Bali did not board a bus on April 12.
RCMP did receive a tip yesterday that went back to Bali’s actions on April 12. Ebert said they are following up on that tip.
“The question we are asking the public is ‘where were you on April 12?’” Ebert said.
Ebert said investigators have conducted more than 100 interviews with people who know Bali or have seen or spoken to her in the days leading up to her disappearance.
“Investigators have developed a timeline of her whereabouts on the morning of April 12, 2016, with the exception of one hour between 10:45 a.m. and 11:55 a.m,” Ebert said.
Ebert also said the unknown adult man who may have been with Bali at the STC bus depot and was brought to the attention of the police via a tip, has not been located at this time.
The man, who police describe as between 40 and 50 years old, five-foot ten to six-foot two in height, with dark hair and a tattoo below his left elbow of a cross with flames around it, is not considered a suspect.
He was seen leaving the bus depot at the same time as Bali.
Bali is described as Caucasian, five-foot two, 125 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes. She also goes by the name Mekayla Niebergall.
She is known to change her appearance. Police say her red-ish hair can be dyed blond or other colours. Bali is also known to wear her hair down, pulled back, straight or wavy.
Bali sometimes wears dark rimmed glasses and a teal/mint coloured infinity scarf.
Ebert said there is no evidence that Bali has a passport and has left Canada, but they have notified law enforcement at border crossings.
At this point in the investigation, Ebert said there is no indication of foul play.
“April the 12th is the last date we can confirm any details about Mekayla,” Ebert said.
“For Mekayla to have been missing since April 12 and to know nothing about where she’s been for the past months is very concerning to us and that’s why we are asking the public to please help us fill in the gaps.”
Anyone with information on Bali’s whereabouts is asked to contact Yorkton RCMP at 306-786-2400, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or their local police service.
With files from Brandon GonezFollow @AlexaHGlobal
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