November 13, 2017 9:13 pm

‘All women’s lives matter’: group aims to keep disappearances in the public eye

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A group of north Okanagan residents is determined to ensure that people don’t forget the cases of missing women that have gone unsolved in the area.

Five women have disappeared from the north Okanagan and Shuswap since early 2016. Four of them have never been found.

READ MORE: For family of missing woman, disappointment as Salmon River Road search wraps up


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Their efforts come after police found the remains of 18-year-old Traci Genereaux on a north Okanagan property in October.

The teen had been missing from Vernon since May. Police are treating her death as suspicious.

“We just feel we need to keep the missing and murdered women in the public eye as much as possible… because we feel all women’s lives matter,” said volunteer Meagan Louis.

Along with Genereaux, Caitlin Potts, Deanna Wertz and Ashley Simpson have all been missing for more than a year. Simpson disappeared in April 2016. Her 34th birthday happens this week.

Activists will unfurl a banner saying “No more stolen sisters” on a bridge in her honour.

“This is another birthday that she won’t be with her family and we just kind of felt that we needed to keep her missing presence relevant,” Louis said.

Community members will also put up posters in the Shuswap for Nicole Bell. The 31-year-old was last seen in early September.

They also plan to mount a drone search, hoping to find some sign of the women that other search efforts may have missed.

“Our hope is to find them. To find answers for all of the families so they can get closure. We want them all to be found,” Louis said.

Organizers hope that more volunteers, including experienced drone pilots, will come forward to aid in the search.

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