Missing Nanaimo woman Lisa Marie Young would have turned 40 on May 5, falling on the same day Canadians marked Red Dress Day.
Young’s family threw flowers into the ocean off Tofino, Wednesday, to mark a milestone birthday that she wasn’t there to celebrate.
“Today’s a very hard day for our family as Lisa should have been here today celebrating her 40th birthday,” said Young’s aunt Carol Martin.
The Nanaimo woman, who has been missing since she was 19, was last seen alive on the night of June 30, 2002, with friends at a downtown Nanaimo nightclub when she left to grab a meal with a man driving a red Jaguar. She called a friend soon after.
“She said Dallas I don’t know what’s going on, this guy won’t bring me back, we’re sitting in a driveway on Bowen Road and he won’t bring me back,” Young’s friend Dallas Hulley told CHEK News in August 2002.
That night Young vanished. Foul play was immediately suspected, yet despite thousands of tips over 19 years, annual vigils and appeals, no arrests have ever been made or her remains found.
“I feel we’re getting close to solving Lisa’s case and I really want someone who has a conscience and I’m sure a heavy heart to come forward with solid evidence,” said Martin.
“We can’t even go to a grave, we’re all doing our individual things because we don’t have that place for her,” said Young’s friend Cyndy Hall.
According to Nanaimo RCMP, Lisa Marie’s case is still an open and active investigation but they have no updates to offer.
“We need that one person who knows exactly where Lisa is. Please tell us, it’s the right thing to do,” said Hall.
Hall met Young when they were 16, and now keeps the missing woman’s story alive on social media. Dedicating a page for tips and memories of the friendly Indigenous woman who had a lifetime ahead of her.
“I feel sadness for everything that Lisa has missed out on,” said Hall. “I look in the mirror, I recently turned 40 and I think of how she would have looked and the different stages of life she missed out on.”
May 5 marked Red Dress Day across Canada to remember all the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Dresses were draped from trees, and rallies were held in cities across the country.
While Martin and Hall honoured Young — who should have been turning 40 — and whose disappearance has so many longing for closure.