One of Manitoba’s most high-profile cases of missing or murdered women is now five years old.

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Jennifer Catcheway last contacted her family on June 19, 2008. (Police handout photo)

Jennifer Catcheway would have turned 23 on Wednesday. She went missing five years ago while heading home to Portage la Prairie for her 18th birthday party.

"[It] doesn’t even seem like five years. It’s been a long, long time," said her mother, Bernice. "It’s just a living nightmare that we just want to stop, to be all over."

Catcheway went missing in June 2008, and in September 2009 Manitoba RCMP said they were treating her disappearance as a homicide investigation.

Fundraising BBQ

Catcheway's family is holding a fundraising BBQ on Saturday, June 22 at 728 Poplar Bay in Portage La Prairie, Man., to raise money for their next search. It will be open from noon until 7 p.m. 

Investigators believe Catcheway’s body is somewhere between Grand Rapids, Man., and Portage.

"We need information to pinpoint where to search. It’s a very vast area," said Sgt. Line Karpish.

Still, Bernice said the family is not giving up hope they will find something.

"We just got to get back out there, and our hope and our prayer is that we do find her and bring her home," she said.

"Every day that goes by you just hope for news somewhere — [that] somebody would say something."

Jennifer’s family has searched tirelessly over the last five years to find any clues about what may have happened to the teen.

Karpish said the RCMP haven’t given up on the case, and there are three investigators still working on it.

"The message here for us is that Jennifer Catcheway is not forgotten, and she never will be," said Karpish. "We will go where the leads take us, and we will until we find the answer."

Now, Catcheway’s family is following up on their own leads and is planning to continue searching near Grand Rapids, Man., next week.

Bernice said she doesn’t fear finding her daughter’s remains.

"That’s the day I look forward to. I’m not afraid to find her. I just want to find her," she said.