The family of a murdered Manitoba woman honoured her publicly for the last time on Tuesday.


Hillary Angel Wilson was last seen on the evening of Aug. 19 in Winnipeg's North End before she was found dead the next day near Highway 59 and the Perimeter Highway. (Photo courtesy RCMP)

Hillary Angel Wilson was found dead in a field just outside Winnipeg on Aug. 20, 2009. She was just 18 years old.

At the time, RCMP said they were investigating her death as a homicide, but to date, no arrests have been made in the case.

On Tuesday, the fourth anniversary of the day Wilson’s body was discovered, her family held a small vigil for her. Flowers were laid where she was found, a smudging ceremony was held and her family grieved.

Her mother, Gwen, said she was "helpful, loving, beautiful -- my angel."

The past four years have taken a toll on Gwen, who said Tuesday was the last time she will visit the site where her daughter was found and the last time her family would hold a memorial walk for her.

"My walk is done," she said.

Wilson’s aunt, Candy Volk, said the loss of Wilson will affect the family forever.

"People just don’t comprehend the effect that homicide has on a family and how devastating it is and how you never get over it -- never," she said. "It’s four years of tears, and when you cry for four years for a loved one -- looking for justice -- that’s a long time."

Just as the smudging ceremony was finishing, Wilson and her family spotted an eagle, circling nearby.

"She’s letting me know that she’s here. I had a dream a few days ago, and when I saw that, it just let me know that what I asked for will happen," said Gwen.

For Gwen, the eagle brought some form of closure, though there have been no arrests in her daughter’s murder.

Volk still holds out hope that someone will eventually come forward with information.

"She wasn’t just dumped out here in the field by herself. Someone knows something, and we’re begging people -- please come forward," said Volk.

The family ended the day with a candle-lit memorial service on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature at 7 p.m.