Jessie Foster disappearance reaches 10-year anniversary

After her daughter went missing to what she believes to be human smuggling, Glendene Grant founded Mothers Against Trafficking Humans — MATH — to better inform parents and young people about the dangers of human trafficking.

Glendene Grant believes her daughter was a victim of human trafficking

Jessie Foster, in a submitted photo. Foster disappeared from Las Vegas in 2006, but her mother hasn't given up hope. (Contributed)

Glendene Grant says it doesn't feel like her daughter has been missing for 10 years.

She believes her daughter, Jessie Foster, became a victim of human smuggling — one of the over two million victims worldwide each year.

"The first year, I couldn't believe it had been a year," she told The Early Edition host Rick Cluff. "But 10 years is a long time, and it's hard to wrap your brain around having a daughter missing for that long."

"My heart tells me she's still alive. And even if she's not, she needs to be found and brought home."

After growing up in Kamloops and Calgary, Jessie Foster moved to Las Vegas "looking for adventure" at age 21 in 2005.

One year later, she was gone.

"By June of 2005, she had already been hospitalized with a broken jaw, forced to work at an escort agency and arrested for prostitution," Grant said in 2014. "So I knew instantly that Jessie was a victim of something."

'My heart does not tell me she's gone'

In the ten years since Foster's disappearance, Grant has been leading the way when it comes to human trafficking awareness through her group Mothers Against Trafficking Humans — MATH.

Grant says her goal is to make sure no other families have to go through what hers has.

"When she went missing in 2006, we never would have thought human trafficking would have happened in North America," she said.

Glendene Grant is the mother of Jessie Forster and founder of Mothers Against Trafficking Humans — MATH. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)
"I figure education is the route to survival. If you know it could happen to you, then you might be more aware and prepared if it does."

Grant talks to kids at schools and their parents, and says she's able to make a connection because her daughter could have been anyone else's daughter.

And while she says she uses MATH as a way to help her cope with Foster's disappearance, she says she's had to "make the best out of everything."

"I've got other kids and grandchildren and a husband," she said. "I needed to still be there for all of them, so that none of them, especially my daughters, thought [Jessie] was the only one that mattered to me."

Still, Grant says she continues to hold out hope that Foster will come back one day.

"It's Jessie coming home and me having to look her in the eye and telling her I thought she was dead and that I'd given up," she said. "My heart does not tell me she's gone … I can't change that, even if I tried."

Mothers Against Trafficking Humans is holding a candlelight vigil March 29 in Kamloops at the Riverside Park bandshell at 6 p.m. PT.

With files from The Early Edition.