Mother of missing Yorkton, Sask. teen searches BC after receiving tips

Mekayla Bali, 17, was last seen at a bus station in Yorkton, Sask. Yorkton City RCMP

The mother of Mekayla Bali recently visited Vancouver after receiving two tips following the six-month update on the search for the missing teen.

Mekayla, 17, was last seen six months ago at the Yorkton, Sask. bus depot.

READ MORE: ‘I feel that I have failed you’: Mother asks for help finding Mekayla Bali

Paula Bali said the tips were a couple of unconfirmed sightings in Vancouver and sounded viable.

After the family received the tips, Paula went to B.C. over the Thanksgiving long weekend to hang up posters and try to talk to people.

“I didn’t want to miss the opportunity if there was more information to get about Mekayla’s disappearance,” Paula said.

Paula said the family has been posting about Mekayla on social media and someone thought they recognized her from there.

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“We still haven’t confirmed at all that she’s there,” Paula said.

“I guess we’re just so desperate for information that if we hear any kind of tip, of course, the RCMP follow up on it, but we try to do as much as we can as well.”

Paula said Mekayla had never expressed interest in Vancouver.

WATCH: Timeline of Mekayla Bali’s whereabouts on the morning of April 12, 2016, with the exception of approximately one hour between 10:45 a.m. and 11:55 a.m.
Click to play video: 'Timeline of Mekayla Bali’s whereabouts on April 12: RCMP'
Timeline of Mekayla Bali’s whereabouts on April 12: RCMP

However, when the family was down there over the weekend, Paula said they went to went to places where teens and homeless people frequent.

They also looked around the Granville area, Surrey and Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, an area notoriously challenged by an epidemic of drug abuse.

“I was hoping she wasn’t there in many respects because my daughter doesn’t have a history of drug issues or mental health issues,” Paula said.

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“It’s irrelevant to me where she is, but on one hand, I was really hoping that isn’t the condition she’s in right now.”

Last Thursday during a six-month update on the case, Mekayla’s family said they were offering a $25,000 reward for the safe return of the missing teen.
Crime Stoppers is also offering a separate $2,000 for any information.

Paula Bali, the mother of Mekayla Bali, speaks on Oct. 6 during a six-month update on the missing person investigation. File / Global News

READ MORE: Family of Mekayla Bali offers $25K reward to return missing Yorkton, Sask. teen home

Paula said she will be heading back to Vancouver following a candlelight vigil in Yorkton Tuesday night.

“The community needs a place to sort of, I think, breathe and express our sorrow,” Paula said.

“Mekayla’s not the only missing child. Our hope always is when we plan one that maybe Mekayla will be found but we’ll continue with a vigil for other parents of missing children as well and continue searching for answers.”

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After Vancouver, Paula said she wants to head to Edmonton and Calgary before continuing east to search for her daughter.

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