Fears are growing in a South Nanaimo neighbourhood as the search for 16-year-old Makayla Chang intensifies there.
Monday RCMP combed the large lot next to the home that Chang and 53-year-old Steven Bacon lived in together up until her disappearance, while forensic teams executed another search warrant on the home itself.
Waking to find RCMP pouring over the large lot near her home for anything connected to the disappearance of 16 year-old Makayla Chang, sends shivers though neighbour Susan Lafleur.
“Oh its terrible. It’s actually sickening to the stomach. Scary.” says Lafleur.
The South Nanaimo lot is next to the home that Chang had been living with 53-year-old Steven Bacon in until she vanished. A home that forensic investigators also returned to Monday with a search warrant, after spending two days here earlier this month.
Leaving those who knew and loved Makayla fearful, what this could all mean.
“It’s a little scary just hoping they don’t come across her body – that would be the worst scenario,” says Makayla’s friend Nicole Smith.
“I really, really, hope she’s not dead. I just want her to be safe,” says Makayla’s friend Laurissa Take.
Armed with shovels, RCMP spent the day digging into piles of debris, lifting collapsed sheds and marking possible evidence connected to the 16 year-old’s disappearance on March 19th. One that for the first time RCMP are now saying is no longer being treated simply as a missing persons investigation.
“Just given the fact that she’s been missing for so long and looking at the circumstances behind her going missing, we haven’t ruled out foul play,” says Cst. Gary O’Brien of Nanaimo RCMP.
A possibility widely feared in this tight knit south Nanaimo community.
“I hope there’s a happy ending I really, really hope. I’m scared. It’s been so long,” says Mary Jane Baker.
Because Steven Bacon who RCMP believed had information about Makayla’s whereabouts has been located by investigators and released, but the fixture of this community hasn’t been seen around here.
RCMP also won’t say if he is a person of interest in her disappearance.
“We’re not commenting on Mr. Bacon at this point,” says Cst. O’Brien.
Leaving this community to watch on and wonder, if it will be their hopes or their fears that are realized in the disappearance of Makayla Chang.