Family and friends of a missing western Manitoba woman have started searching along highways near where she was last seen for clues that might lead to her location.
Lorlene Bone, 31, was last seen in Sapotaweyak Cree Nation north of Swan River on Feb. 29, according to RCMP.
The Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation woman was reported missing on March 9 by her family. They thought she had gone away with her boyfriend but when they realized she had not, they went to police.
Friends, family start search
Thursday, roughly 30 people, mainly friends and family, gathered at Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation to organize a search, starting at Sapotaweyak Cree Nation where Bone was last seen.
"That's just a starting point. Her last location was Sapotaweyak," said her cousin Robin Genaille. "We don't know where to start. Where do you start? It's so confusing and frustrating."
Genaille said one group started scouring the roadside and ditches on Highway 10 and at the junction to the community while another was going into the community to canvass door to door.
She said information has also been passed on to people Bone knows in Regina, Fort Qu'appelle, Sask., and Brandon, Man.
Passing days hard on family
Bone's family said earlier this week that it was out of character for her to not call at least every other day.
Genaille admits every passing day is harder. She's been helping Bone's mom search and track down leads for the past week.
"Nobody has seen or heard from her. Like it doesn't make any sense," she said. "A person can't just vanish, especially in a small area like this. Everybody knows everybody."
"A person can't just vanish, especially in a small area like this." - Robin Genaille, Lorlene Bone's cousin
Genaille said the tight-knit family is holding onto each other for support and encouragement.
Since news of Bone's disappearance surfaced this week, Genaille said few new leads have come in. Family members handed out flyers across the region Wednesday.
"It was really hard on us," she said. "People were asking questions... and I was getting emotional."
Searchers will be taking a break from canvassing in Sapotaweyak on Friday and Saturday out of respect for a death in the community but hope to return to the area on Sunday and start a more extensive search.
"I hope we find Lorlene," Genaille said. I really... I really hope we find her."
Anyone with information on Bone's disappearance is asked to contact Swan River RCMP at 204-734-4686.
Swan River is 380 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg near the Saskatchewan border.