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‘I feel like I’m in a nightmare’: Family heartbroken after missing Oshawa teen confirmed dead

Click to play video: 'Godmother of dismembered Oshawa teen heartbroken and shocked'
Godmother of dismembered Oshawa teen heartbroken and shocked
Fri, Nov 10: As Catherine McDonald reports, Rori Hache had been missing for more than two months and her family wanted to believe she would be found alive – Nov 10, 2017

Friends and family of a missing Oshawa teen confirmed dead this week describe the 18-year-old as “beautiful”, “bright” and “welcoming.”

On Thursday, Durham police said a torso that was found in Lake Ontario on Sept. 11 was determined to be that of 18-year-old Rori Hache, who had been missing since Aug. 29.

Police began investigating after the body part was found with signs of trauma by a fisherman near the Oshawa Harbour.

The family said they last had communication with the teen in August and that they were concerned for her safety.

Krysia Meeldyk, Hache’s godmother, told Global News she had spoken to her on the phone on Aug. 27 and that everything had been fine.

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But then, Meeldyk realized something was wrong when someone from The Refuge, a youth outreach program where Hache was an active participant, contacted her and told her he had not seen the teen for a few weeks, which was unusual for her, as the centre was her “go-to.”

Darnell Lewis, a member of The Refuge, told Global News the last time Hache was seen was at a paintball outing for the program.

Handout / Durham police

“She was happy and smiling, we had a blast all day long,” he said.

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Lewis had been introduced to Hache by her parents when she was 12 years old. He said she’d been coming to The Refuge for the last three years, helping out in the kitchen, cleaning up and “just being there smiling and laughing and being a good person in general.”

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He said it’s been “really hard” to handle the news of her death.

“I was still praying for her to be found. I’ve been looking day and night, praying every night,” he said.

Executive Director of The Refuge, Clarence Keesman, told Global News that Hache was like family and that everyone at the centre was hurting.

His thoughts turned to the possibility of it being Hache when the torso was first discovered, but when police made no identification, they just kept going and “didn’t give up hope.”

“I don’t know what to think of it, I’m just struggling to make sense of it all and understand and I can’t.”

Meeldyk had conducted numerous search parties looking for her goddaughter and plastered teh downtown core with her pictures.

“I still find myself in disbelief — that we’re just going to plug on, we’re going to find her and she’s going to come home. But that’s not the case,” she said.

“It’s surreal, I feel like I’m in a complete nightmare.”

A GoFundMe page has been by set up by Meeldyk to raise funds to create a bench in Hache’s honour at Oshawa Beach.

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“I would like to memorialize her by having a bench placed at Oshawa Beach,” she wrote on the page. “So that we can visit, reflect and mourn her.

“She was a bright, beautiful, strong and extremely smart young lady. We love and miss her immensely.”

Anyone with information in the investigation is urged to contact Durham police or Crime Stoppers.

 

With files from Briana Carnegie

 

 

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