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Caitlin Potts, 27, had a busy social media presence, but a facebook message sent to her sister on the morning of February 22, 2016 would be the last time she has posted anything, and that family and friends have heard from her.
A missing person’s report was filed with the RCMP on March 1, but an official missing alert on the RCMP’s website did not go up until March 21. It reads, "the RCMP Major Crimes Unit is now assisting Vernon North Okanagan RCMP with the investigation of Potts." But the search for Potts did not end there.
In early June of 2016, Potts' mother, Priscilla, contacted Indigenous groups in B.C .to help them conduct a search on their own, after losing faith in the RCMP's investigation.
“My daughter is incredibly smart, she was always on the honour roll in highschool,” Priscilla said from her home in Alberta.
Caitlin was in foster care until she was 11 years old, but her mother remembers the visits well.
“When she was a child, on our visits, we’d do everything as a family; go to the lake, have dinners, she was always happy,” Potts said.
Caitlin was living in B.C. before she went missing, although she was born and raised in Alberta.
She was living in Edmonton with her younger sister, who goes by Codi Potts before she moved to Enderby, B.C., following her boyfriend’s move there a few months earlier. The two had a turbulent relationship over the years and had been on and off together for about two months before she disappeared.
Codi says he was abusive towards her and often Caitlin would show up with bruises and in tears.
“One time she called me crying and she was hiding in the bathroom, saying he was outside and he was going to kick the door in," Potts said.
Codi says Caitlin’s boyfriend was arrested that night and she stayed in a Salmon Arm women's shelter following the arrest.
"She was fine there, going to school and had a job at Tim Hortons, until she went back to him a couple months later," Codi said.
According to Codi, her sister had texted her estranged boyfriend the day she went missing, saying she was upset with him over money he owed her.
The morning she went missing she also left Codi a message saying she had found a ride to Calgary via a Kijiji. Her roommate in Salmon Arm, reported that Caitlin told her she had met a stranger the night before.
Her last known location is unclear but she was last seen by a witness in Enderby B.C. and had texted her sister that she was in Kelowna. B.C. before she vanished.
"She was so outgoing and bubbly and made everyone around her feel comfortable and happy. There is no one that can replace her," said Codi.
"if someone made her disappear, I can't understand how that could happen."
Caitlin Potts is approximately 5 feet three inches tall, 150 pounds with brown eyes and long black hair with blonde streaks. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Vernon RCMP at 250-545-7171 or anonymously via Crime Stoppers, at 1-888-222-8477.
The CBC did request more information via telephone and email from the RCMP in June of 2016, but have so far only been provided with the press release on their web site.
CBC News continues to investigate missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada, looking at the unsolved cases and telling the stories of the families and communities.