Hope remains during annual Nanaimo march in memory of Lisa Young

Hope remains during annual Nanaimo march in memory of Lisa Young

It’s been 22 years since Lisa Young went missing in Nanaimo, and she hasn’t been seen since.

More than 80 people marched from the Nanaimo RCMP detachment to Maffeo Sutton Park Sunday with the hope the mystery of what happened to Young, who was 21 at the time of her disappearance, would be solved.

“She was taken. She did not go missing, and she’s missed out on her entire life, and now she’s been dead longer than she’s been alive, so it’s important for us to still raise awareness,” said Cyndy Hall, the march organizer and Young’s former friend.

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Young’s family has always been involved in organizing the marches, and they hope the marches will prompt those with information to go to the police.

“Hopefully, somebody will come with answers,” said Carol Frank, Young’s aunt.

Elected members of the federal, provincial, and municipal governments, along with four RCMP members, participated in Sunday’s march.

The lead investigator with Nanaimo RCMP says that while the passage of time makes investigations more difficult, things can turn quickly.

“All it takes is a person to walk into a police station and sit down and say I’ve got something to say, and that instantly changes the dynamics of a file completely,” said Cpl. Markus Muntener.

In the wee hours of June 30, 2002, Young left a house party in a Jaguar with a man she’d just met. His name was Chris Adair. Police questioned him soon after Young’s disappearance before releasing him.

Police have never charged anyone.

“There have been suspects over the years, and there still are suspects on the file, but as far as specifics around that, there’s not really anything we can talk about right now,” said Const. Hayley Pinfold, who has also worked on the file.

An in-depth podcast four years ago brought new attention to Young’s story, and friends and family have conducted at least six searches in recent years, one even this past year.

“We are frustrated not with the police but with the public because people out there know what happened to Lisa,” said Hall.

“They have information to bring her home, and they’re remaining silent and I understand fear, but if you do not work with the police and tell them your info, those offenders will stay on our streets.”

Hall says that as time passes, more people are coming forward, and she’s optimistic there may yet be a conclusion, justice for Young, and an end to these annual marches.

In 2020, Nanaimo RCMP searched a home on Nanaimo Lakes Road, and they say every year, tips come in and statements are taken.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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