WATCH: There were tears and calls for justice at a memorial for a Nanaimo teen killed two years ago. Yesterday would have been Makayla Chang’s 18th birthday, but while her body was found in May of 2017, so far no one’s been charged. Meaning the killer is likely still at large. Kendall Hanson has more on what those close to her were saying.
It should have been a celebration of Makayla Chang’s 18th birthday.
Instead, it’s a somber evening. Her parents have a birthday cake to help celebrate the life she lived.
Friends remember Makayla as someone who changed their lives with her friendship.
“From the get-go we just became friends,” recalled Amber Crossen. “She was like that social butterfly. I was the shy person just coming to Tim Hortons and she’d be like ‘Hey, come hang out’ so we’d all hang out and every day that is where we met.”
The 16-year-old went missing in March 2016. Two months later, after numerous searches in the community, police discovered Chang’s body.
The location has never been disclosed and no one has yet been charged, but police say it’s a priority investigation and still active.
Her parents say they planned this evening because it’s difficult as time passes and there are no updates from police.
“It’s been two years and we haven’t really moved forward, and there’s somebody out there who took the life of our daughter and we want justice,” said Kerry Chang, Makayla’s father.
“Please come forward,” said Janine Vautour, Makayla’s mother. “Somebody knows something and people talk… I know damn well somebody knows something out there and they need to do this for Makayla. She deserves that.”
Close to 100 people turned out for the memorial.
A few here didn’t even know Makayla.
“I think it’s important to pay our respects and to always remember. And hopefully one day we will find, the family will find, a conclusion,” said Natalie Fenton, a Nanaimo resident.
Many speak of not having proper closure.
“We don’t have answers. We don’t know who the person is who caused all of this,” said Crossen.
And there’s also a fear that whoever killed Makayla is still at large.
“It’s very scary ’cause you never know,” said Nicole Smith, one of Makayla’s friends. “There could be another person going missing. You always worry.”
A picture and video presentation highlighted Makayla’s life. A life cut far too short leaving many questions that still need answers.