Dozens of people gathered at the Splatsin Community Centre in Enderby on Monday to remember four women who went missing from the area in the last two years.
“There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t ask where are you, you’re coming home, we will find you,” Jane Aubertin told Global News.
Aubertin’s daughter Nicole Bell, a mother of three, was reported missing in Sept. 2017 in Sicamous.
“I hang on hope every day, every day that we have closure to where she is,” Aubertin said.
In addition to Bell, Caitlin Potts, 27, disappeared in Feb. 2016. She was seen on surveillance footage at Orchard Park Mall in Kelowna on Feb. 21. The Enderby woman went missing the next day.
Deanna Wertz, 46, was last seen on Yankee Flats Road near Armstrong on July 19, 2016. She told family she was going for a hike. Searches from the ground and air turned up no clues as to her whereabouts.
Ashley Simpson, 32, also lived on Yankee Flats Road. Simpson sent her last text messages in the morning of April 28, 2016. Police suspect foul play in her disappearance.
In addition, Traci Genereaux’s remains were recovered late last year after an extensive search of a farm outside of Salmon Arm.
The purpose of Monday’s gathering, which was organized by the Splatsin First Nation, was to come together as a community and keep the disappearances at the forefront.
“It’s really a heartache when you come to it from a perspective of a woman, you come from the perspective of a mother, you come from the perspective of a community member,” Jody Leon with the Splatsin First Nation said. “You want the women in the nation area to feel safe, and it is a concern that five women have gone missing, one of them has been recovered.”
Another drone search is being planned in the north Okanagan in July as family members and the community at large desperately look for answers to the disappearances.