edm-mulligan

Julie Mulligan, shown here in a Rotary Club newsletter, is missing and presumed abducted in Nigeria. (Rotary Club)

People who live in Drayton Valley, Alta., are stunned by the news a local woman has been kidnapped in Nigeria.

Julie Mulligan, 45, is a well-known resident of the Alberta town, about 145 kilometres southwest of Edmonton. 

Mulligan was on a goodwill mission with the Rotary Club with four other women from northern Alberta when she was abducted in the city of Kaduna on Thursday night.

Her abductors are demanding money for her release, Nigerian officials said.

In Drayton Valley, Mayor Moe Hamdon said many people in town know Mulligan.

"She's active in the business community, a great volunteer, just a wonderful person. … She's a great lady," he told The Canadian Press.

"Drayton Valley is a very close-knit community, so a lot of of people in town know each other and do know Julie."

Drugstore owner Jeff Zalitach said he made a donation to Mulligan just before she left on her trip earlier this month.  He said Mulligan and her husband have always been involved in charity work.

"They sponsor students, international students,"  he said. "They raise money for local charities and this was an international effort, so I'm shocked."

At the Word of Life Church Monday night, Cyndi Millett had people sign a card for Mulligan's family.

"We're praying for them and ... there's people here in the community caring for them," she said.

Mulligan's husband did not make the trip to Nigeria. He has asked for privacy.

The other four women travelling with Mulligan were able to get out of Nigeria safely. 

With files from The Canadian Press