A 34-year-old Sherbrooke woman and her Italian boyfriend have been missing for three weeks in Burkina Faso, a country in West Africa.
Edith Blais, 34, and her travel companion, Luca Tacchetto, 30, have not made contact with their families since Dec. 15.
The pair was last seen travelling by car in Bobo-Dioulasso, the second largest city in Burkina Faso. They were heading to Ouagadougou and then to their final destination of Togo.
Blais’ mother, Jocelyne Bergeron, says the pair was supposed to get to Togo by Dec. 20, where they were expected to stay for a month to work on a humanitarian project.
“We were always in constant communication with them, and it suddenly stopped,” said Bergeron.
On Friday, a Facebook page was created to raise awareness about the pair’s disappearance, and news updates are also being posted to the page.
Bergeron says that in the last 24 hours, the family has been overwhelmed by support from local people and Quebecers living in Burkina Faso offering to help.
“Edith and Luca have really wonderful personalities. They’ve been travelling a lot and they know how to deal with problems,” said Bergeron. “I have no bad feeling of them being dead or anything like that — I just feel like she’s just in a bad situation.”
In an email to Global News, Global Affairs Canada said it is aware that a Canadian citizen is reported missing in Burkina Faso.
“Canadian consular officials in Burkina Faso are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information,” wrote Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Guillaume Bérubé. “Consular assistance is being provided to the family in Canada.”
Canada has an active travel advisory for Burkina Faso, recommending people avoid all non-essential travel to the country.
It also recommends avoiding travel near the Mali, Benin and Togo borders due to the risk of terrorism and kidnapping.
—With files from the Canadian Press