mba-missing-catcheway

Jennifer Leigh Catcheway last contacted her family on June 19, the day before her 18th birthday. ((Police handout))

An aboriginal women's group is holding a seven-hour vigil at the Manitoba legislature on Wednesday to draw attention to the case of a teenager who has been missing for more than 40 days.

Ikwe-Widdjiitiwin is holding the vigil for Jennifer Catcheway between noon and 7 p.m. CT at the Manitoba legislature.

The Portage la Prairie teen was last in touch with her family on June 19, the day before her 18th birthday. She failed to show up at a party in her honour, and hasn't been heard from since.

Bernice Catcheway hopes publicity about the vigil will result in new tips that could lead searchers to her daughter.

"No matter which way, I'll find her. I'll take her home," she said.

"I'm a mum, a mother, and I can't see my baby out in the wilderness somewhere," she said, her voice breaking with emotion. "I've got to find her, and I know we're going to find her."

The Manitoba Search and Rescue Association is offering a $7,500 reward for information leading to Catcheway.

The search has focused on areas around the Grand Rapids and Dakota Tipi First Nations. Two men were taken into custody in mid-July for questioning on the case, but were released without being charged.

Catcheway is described as an aboriginal woman with a fair complexion, medium-length brown hair and hazel eyes. She is about five feet seven inches tall and weighs about 165 pounds.

Anyone with information on Catcheway's whereabouts is asked to call the RCMP in Portage la Prairie at (204) 857-4445, Manitoba Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or Manitoba Search and Rescue at (204) 777-0553.