Nearly four years after an elderly woman went missing in Perth-Andover, West District RCMP have renewed a call for the public's help to find her by featuring her case as the Crime Stoppers Crime of the Week.
Martha Kelly was last seen on June 8, 2012, around 5 p.m., when she left her assisted living apartment at the Victoria Villa to go for her daily walk. She was 73 years old at the time.
Sgt. Tammy Ward says the investigation into Kelly's disappearance has been at a standstill and police are hoping someone will use Crime Stoppers to provide information anonymously.
'There's a feeling that people in the community may know what has happened to her.' - Sgt. Tammy Ward
"There's a feeling that people in the community may know what has happened to her," but perhaps haven't contacted police out of fear of retaliation, Ward told CBC News on Monday, declining to comment on whether police suspect foul play.
"The other thing is, if somebody does know something that occurred, whether it was two, three, 20 years ago, sometimes that person's conscience gets to a point where they can't keep it anymore inside and they need to do the right thing, which could be stepping forward, calling Crime Stoppers, contacting the police.
"And that's what we're hoping this does, is either jar someone's memory — 'Oh, I did she her walking down the street that night' — or somebody saw something, or knows something, and then they will come forward."
Ward says it's also important for Kelly's family and friends to find out what happened to her, or where she is located, for closure.
"I don't think how many years pass changes that," she said.
Left without money, ID
Kelly left her apartment on East Riverside Drive that Friday night without her purse, money or identification, which seems to suggest she wasn't planning to be gone for long, but she never returned, said Ward.
She was reported missing the next day.
Kelly was in good physical shape and had no medical issues other than short-term memory loss.
She is also described as a "creature of habit." She did the same thing at the same time every day and was often seen walking in the village and surrounding area.
Kelly is described as being five-foot-three, about 150 lbs with a medium build, and short grey and white hair. She was last seen wearing a black jacket, navy pants and glasses.
Anyone with any information about her disappearance or whereabouts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), texting TIP212 and a message to CRIMES (274637), or by web at www.crimenb.ca.
Crime Stoppers will pay up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for Kelly's disappearance.
The RCMP, five search and rescue teams, and other groups searched for Kelly for several days. There was an air and water search along the St. John and Tobique rivers, crews combed the trails on ATVs and on foot, and they went canvassing door to door.
Her disappearance prompted the mayor of the northwestern village to call for the creation of a national senior alert program — Silver Alert — which would mirror the Amber Alert for children.
Terrence Ritchie said the program would register seniors and include their physical features in a database. Then, if a senior went missing, the public would be more aware.