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In a trembling voice, Angeline Courtorielle says it’s the first time the media has called her about her granddaughter.
“Everyday she used to hug us and say she loved us, me and her grandpa,” Angeline said.
According to an Edmonton Police Service (EPS) press release dated May 1, 2014, Roxanne Isadore was reported missing to Valleyview RCMP in Alberta on Sept. 24, 2013.
A media spokesperson for the EPS says the case is open but there are no leads.
The family, however, started their own search years before the police became involved.
“I am kinda confused sometimes because there is a lot of worry to something like this,” Angeline said, referring to how exact dates and locations aren’t clear anymore.
She says Roxanne, a member of the Drift Pile Cree Nation, moved to Edmonton, Alta. in late 2006 with her boyfriend, Cory McInnis.
Roxanne left her two children, Gaile and Connor, with their great-grandmother temporarily, so she could settle into her new home.
Roxanne called around spring of 2007.
“She just said, ‘I am on my way with my boyfriend, we are going to come and see the kids. I am going to come and get [them].’”
But Roxanne didn’t make it to Valleyview, Alta.
Months later, she gave birth to Cory Jr. (CJ), who was taken days later from an Edmonton hospital and put into care with Alberta’s social services.
In September 2007, Roxanne’s sister, Nicole Courtorielle, saw her in Edmonton. She assured Nicole everything was fine.
Angeline and her husband, Albert, now raise CJ, Gaile and Connor, using their pension.
They also raised Roxanne and her sisters for the better part of their lives.
Through gasps and sniffles, she talks about how Roxanne became dependent on alcohol and drugs.
Angeline says the first time she had to save Roxanne was when she was just 5 years old.
She drove to pick up Roxanne in Prince Rupert, B.C.
When they arrived back in Valleyview, Angeline took Roxanne to a doctor, where she learned her granddaughter was molested.
“She used to scream at night, actually. I slept with her...Held her,” she said.
“She would jump and scream and holler and she would say, ‘that bearded guy is after me.’”
Roxanne got counselling for trauma and her dreams went away.
Soon after, she went to live with her mother in B.C.
Angeline says Roxanne tried to kill herself before she was a teenager. She tried again at 15, while under the care of child welfare.
“She stabbed herself. She put a knife in her gut because they were telling her she was crazy, the social services,” she said.
Roxanne’s mother, Dorothy, had problems of her own.
A few years ago things got so bad, Angeline had to rescue her, too.
“Last time they found her in a ditch in Prince George, [B.C.],” she said.
“I went up there right away. I left here late. Went up there and brought her home here and kept her for, I don’t know how many months to recuperate. I took care of her.”
Dorothy is sober now.
She’s living on her own in Valleyview, close to family.
While Angeline is happy for her daughter, she’s torn about where her granddaughter might be.
“I’m 70…I’ve worried myself sick,” Angeline said.
She says the last two years have been extra hard because she battled cancer.
She’s in remission but mentions there are other health concerns.
“...I had a slight stroke. The doctor thinks anyway… The doctor is doing all kinds of tests again.”
Angeline tries to be hopeful.
She says EPS revealed to her Roxanne was picked up by RCMP in Fort St. John, B.C., in February 2011.
When the CBC called, the Fort St. John RCMP would not deny or confirm contact with Roxanne in 2011.
“I pray for her day and night. That she’s fine. That she’s not hurting,” she said, letting out a desperate cry.
“And that she didn’t suffer if she left us.”
Since her disappearance, the family has not recovered.
“I have 34 great grandchildren, 24 grandchildren, and five children,” Angeline said.
“None of us are the same without [Roxanne].”
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.