Supporters walk for Lisa Marie 22 years after her disappearance | Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper

Supporters walk for Lisa Marie 22 years after her disappearance

Nanaimo, BC

It has been 22 years since Lisa Marie Young went missing from Nanaimo and advocates continue to gather annually to celebrate the memory of the Tla-o-qui-aht woman, raising awareness for her ongoing investigation.

Close to 80 people gathered at Nanaimo’s RCMP detachment on June 30, 2024, marching with posters and banners down to Maffeo Sutton Park to celebrate and remember Young.

Young was last seen at approximately 3 a.m. on June 30, 2002. The 21-year-old had spent the night out with friends, first at a Nanaimo nightclub, then two house parties. She left the second party to get something to eat, and accepted a ride with Christopher William Adair, a young man she had just met that evening, according to reports from the time.  

A friend reported receiving a text message from Young at 4:30 a.m., which read “come get me, they won’t let me leave.”

“Each day we still have hope, hope that Lisa will be found and brought home. A long time has gone by—22 years. Longer than she was with us. We have never given up hope,” said Carol Frank, Young’s aunt.

Frank said her late sister, Young’s mother, made t-shirts the year her daughter went missing in 2002 with a photo and the words ‘love and hope,’ which family and friends continue to make each year to bring awareness.

“My sister strongly believed in these words. Lisa is loved by many family, friends and people who did not know Lisa but heard her story,” Frank said. “Our heart goes out to the families that have lost loved ones to the tragedy of murder. We have hope that whoever took Lisa from us, that person or persons will be brought to justice.”

During the event at Maffeo Sutton Park, MP for Nanaimo- Ladysmith Lisa Marie Barron said she continues to address and bring awareness to the ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited people to the federal government.

“My colleagues and I were successful in pushing the Liberal government to implement what’s called a red dress alert. We’re pushing for it to become national but it’s starting in Manitoba, where if any Indigenous woman, girl or two-spirited person goes missing that people can be alerted immediately,” Barron said. “I think this is necessary for us to be able to move forward, but bigger than that we need to see of course the systems in place, all of the recommendations, the calls to action, so that no more Indigenous women and girls and two spirit people go missing.”

The Nanaimo RCMP have kept an active case open for Young since she went missing 22 years ago.

“There is no excuse, there is no explanation, there is no way to accept what happened,” said Nanaimo mayor Leonard Krog. “As we gather here not accepting it, we must remember with that kind of patience that [Lisa] had a good life when she was alive and she loved music and she cared for people, she cared for her family. As a parent and grandparent I can only begin to imagine how her mother felt in her lifetime and how her family still continues to feel knowing that justice has not been done.”

Police ask that anyone with information that could help in solving the disappearance of Lisa Marie Young to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

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