Missing & Murdered: The Unsolved Cases of Indigenous Women and Girls
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Winnie Sampare says her sister, Virginia, whom she calls Ginny, was hanging out with their cousin, Alvin on Highway 16, looking over the Gitsegukla River in B.C. before Alvin saw her for the last time.

He left Ginny to bike home and get his jacket.

As he pedalled back to meet her, he heard a car door slam. But when he reached the road, there was no car, and his cousin was gone.

"Sometimes I wonder if she got thrown over the side of the hill and into the water," Winnie Sampare said.

"I'm always thinking... 'Are you in a ditch somewhere?'"

RCMP investigators and community members looked for Ginny for eight days after she went missing.

Forty years later, there are still no clues to what happened to her.

Sampare said she doesn't have closure, but she praises the police for their dedication to her sister's case.

"They are trying, working hard," she said.

"Sometimes they don't seem to get thanks when they do try. I feel sorry for them sometimes. Seems like there's not enough of them."

Sampare, 69, had not yet reached 30 by the time Ginny was gone, but she remembers one officer who made an impact on her life, and the lives of those in the family.

"He said 'every time I hear the song [Take me home, country roads] I'll think of [her],'" she said.

The song by John Denver came out six months before Virginia vanished. The lyrics — take me home, to the place I belong — are about country roads taking the singer back to West Virginia.

"[The officer] is the one who was always there for mom and dad."

Ginny was the second last of six children, and Sampare says her 18-year-old sister was shy.

She attended high school in Hazleton, B.C., a town not far from her home in Gitsegukla. During fishing season, she worked at a cannery and she loved playing "nurse" with her sisters.

The four girls supported each other when their father drank too much.

Today, that sisterly connection still exists between Sampare and Ginny, even though she's been gone for twice as long as Sampare knew her.

"I always think of her whenever I go over the bridge where she was last seen," Sampare said through tears.

"Every October 14 I would say 'oh my dear sister, where are you? What happened to you?’”

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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.