Tiki Brook-Lyn Laverdiere, 25, travelled from Edmonton to North Battleford for a friend’s funeral at the end of April. By April 29, her family knew something had gone terribly wrong.
“I had seen her Facebook posts that she wanted a ride back so then I started phoning her and she wasn’t answering,” Carol Laverdiere, Tiki’s mother, told Global News on Tuesday.
“What I thought of was: she wants to get out of there, she’s not comfortable there and she really wants to come home… I was going to go pick her up but I just couldn’t get a hold of her.”
The young mother of two was officially reported missing on May 1. RCMP announced last month that her disappearance was the result of foul play. Then, human remains found outside North Battleford on July 11 were confirmed to be Tiki.
“She was a young, caring mother of two boys,” Carol said. “She had a heart of gold. She wouldn’t hurt anybody. She was there for people.”
Carol said Tiki didn’t know anyone in North Battleford. She went to the funeral to support the mother of the young man who had died.
“How are the boys?” was Tiki’s last text to her mom. “That was it. I never heard from my daughter again.”
On Monday, Saskatchewan RCMP said they had arrested and charged a 27-year-old woman in connection with Tiki’s death.
Shayla Orthner, of North Battleford, has been charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, improperly interfering with a human body and theft of a motor vehicle. RCMP also said they expect additional arrests in this case. On Tuesday, Saskatchewan RCMP said they had charged Danita Thomas, 32, of North Battleford, with first-degree murder, kidnapping, improperly interfering with a human body and theft of a motor vehicle.
Orthner was scheduled to make her first court appearance in North Battleford provincial court on Tuesday.
Carol said she doesn’t know anything about the accused.
“I feel good about [the charges],” she said. “First-degree murder, yes. But it tells me a lot of what my daughter went through too… kidnapping… so it just really hurts me.
“She didn’t know anybody over there and I just hate to think about what she went through.”
Carol said she plans to follow the proceedings closely and go to court to see the woman accused in her daughter’s death.
“I’ll be there. I want to look at them. I want to see what it looks like to have no heart and I want them to look at me.”
Tiki’s aunt also plans to be in court.
“I need to see who would do something like this. I want them to see us. I want them to know that you hurt a lot of people,” Debbie Stetsko said on Tuesday.
“I guess I just want them to feel some pain too. I want them to hurt.”
The charges, while providing the family with some relief, are not offering closure.
“At least they’ve got someone and hopefully more,” Stetsko said. “Get them off the street and maybe save somebody else. That’s what gives me relief, that they’re not walking around anymore.”
“I’ll never have closure until I see her again. Never,” said Carol, who says her faith has been getting her through this trauma. “She didn’t deserve any of this.
“She was my daughter. She was a mom. She has two kids – two boys – she had a heart of gold. She was harmless and it’s too bad that somebody took advantage of her kindness. They’re just evil.”
Another thing helping hold the family together? Other families dealing with similar tragedy who can – sadly – empathize.
“I hated North Battleford,” Carol said. “I just despised that place. I never wanted to go back there. But all the people there, they have helped me and my family so much. We are family now and we’ll always be.”
Tiki’s family has become especially close with the family of Ashley Morin, another young woman missing from North Battleford.
Carol is pleading that anyone with information about her disappearance to help the family.