Family organizes search for missing Maniwaki teens
Family members are appealing to volunteers to resume the search for two missing teens from the Maniwaki area, eight months after the pair went missing.
The mother of Maisy Odjick, 17, and the aunt of Shannon Alexander, 18, are now teaming up with the help of a professional search and rescue organization to co-ordinate a ground search in the Maniwaki area on May 2.
"It's been almost eight months now that my daughter has been missing with her friend Shannon and from the beginning little to none was done for these girls," Maisy's mother Laurie Odjick told reporters on Thursday.
"We would like to see thousands and thousands of volunteers for this search. There's two native girls missing. Two beautiful Aboriginal girls and we want to see justice for them," added Maria Jacko, Shannon's aunt.
The pair vanished from their Aboriginal community on Sept. 5 and those who know the girls say they left behind wallets and clothes.
Family members say they've had little help from Quebec provincial police, who initially believed the girls ran away.
"Two teenagers don't just disappear off the face of this Earth with nothing. They had no ID, they had no clothes except for the ones on their back," said Odjick, as she fought back tears.
"There was no support, there was no investigation. Search teams weren't involved."
Throughout the investigation, native activists have criticized police for not taking the case seriously because the girls are Aboriginal.
"Today we are talking about a search that should have been done when these two young women went missing," said Ellen Gabriel, president of the Quebec Native Women's Association.
"There are 513 missing murdered Aboriginal women in Canada that we know of."
Since their disappearance, a website has been launched, aimed at getting the word out about the missing teens.
Miasy Odjick is described as six-feet tall, 125 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes. She has three facial piercings: two on her bottom lip and one in her nose.
Shannon Alexander is five feet, nine inches tall and weighs 145 lbs. She has pierced ears and acne scars on her face.
A bus will be available for those wishing to travel from Ottawa to Maniwaki to join the search for the two girls.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kitigan Zibi police department at 819-449-6000.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Natalie Pierosara