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Readers react to B.C. woman found after missing for 50 years

Categories: Canada, Community, Features

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Lucy Johnson went missing from Surrey, B.C. 50 years ago. (Surrey RCMP)

The strange tale of a woman who went missing from Surrey, B.C. 50 years ago and was discovered alive and well in the Yukon this week has fuelled the imagination of CBC readers.

In 1965, Lucy Johnson was reported missing. During the investigation into her disappearance police became suspicious of her husband Marvin. Police considered charges against him and even went so far as to dig up his yard searching for any signs of foul play, but found nothing.

Still under suspicion, Marvin died in the late 1990s. Lucy was found only when her daughter from her second family had recognized an old photo of her mother that was sent out as a plea for information from her first daughter - whom Lucy had left behind. 

The family has united and is in the process of getting to know one another again. 

CBC readers had speculated on the motives behind Lucy's hasty exit leaving behind a husband and children. 

  • "I think that people assume it was abuse because RCMP were looking into the husband for her murder. I think that it pretty much goes without saying that their relationship had some issues and one of those issues that occurred fairly regularly was abuse. There were no shelters or transitions houses for her to go to, the first opened in bc in 1973" wrote Sarah Hossack. 

  • "A good chance she couldn't handle the city life and rat race, felt like a caged wolf and just walked away from it all," wrote Arctic Dude. 

  • And with the speculation came a discussion on gender roles and pigeonholing the sexes. 

  • "I see many up in arms because she left her daughter behind. Men leave their children behind every day, with hardly a peep from society. Why is it a bigger deal if a woman does it?" wrote R Townsend. 
Some readers showed compassion for some of the key players in the story. 

  • "It must have been very hard for the daughter left behind, growing up never knowing who/where her mother was or why she left, etc. I can't help but wonder how the daughter's life was impacted, and how she will deal with it now," wrote et deux. 

  • "I feel so sorry for the daughter Linda who missed a lifetime with her mother," wrote Newslistener1. 

  • "How horribly sad for the late Marvin Johnson. All these years a suspect by the police, and likely looked down upon with suspicion by others and going to his grave no doubt still protesting his innocence. May he rest in peace," wrote Blgirls. 

And, others were left feeling angry or upset at the fallout and wasted effort caused by Lucy.

  • "Interesting, I wonder how many other missing people went missing on purpose. What bothers me is the waste of time and effort by many people trying to find her and also that the husband had to go through all of that suspician and died with 'guilty' still hanging over him probably by many people. Seems pretty selfish to me," wrote k-so. 

  • "This woman's actions border on criminal. What about the family she left behind. Double standard again. If the husband had done this he would have been charged with bigamy and owed many years child and spousal support. Maybe she had a good reason but I suppose that logic wouldn't apply if the roles had been reversed," said mountaindog. 

This strange and miraculous story also left readers scratching their heads. 

  • "Life is truly stranger than fiction," wrote Wish4Peace. 

  • "Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do," wrote AJWallace2.

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Tags: Community Reaction

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