Missing & Murdered: The Unsolved Cases of Indigenous Women and Girls
  return to profiles

CBC needs you

Do you have information on an unsolved case involving missing or murdered indigenous women or girls?

Contact us by email at
or contact us anonymously via
secure drop logo

Isidore Felix Kalelest, who is now 71 years old, remembers his younger sister saying she was heading out and would see him later.

That was 43 years ago. Isidore still doesn’t know what happened to his sister, Velma Duncan.

The two siblings were living together in a little place on the outskirts of Williams Lake. Isidore remembers renting the place while working as a logger.

“Never knew where she was going,” he said.

Velma had a boyfriend and Isidore wondered if she was making her way to see him, or was just heading to town.

Isidore doesn’t recall Velma being unhappy or having any problems -- at least nothing that she mentioned.

But he says he's clear on one thing: He doesn’t think Velma is alive.

“It’s been too long, you know,” he said. “There's been nothing shown up in any of the computers or anything.”

He believes his sister was killed by somebody, though Isidore says that's hard for him to think about.

“I think he's the only one that has been really searching for answers,” said Shelia Kalelest Booth, Isidore's daughter.

She recalls her granny longing to know what happened to her daughter, Velma.

“She would pray and cry,” said Booth. “She [would say], ‘She is here, she's here,’ but she never did know.”

Her grandmother passed away without ever knowing what happened to Velma.

Booth says the police rarely contact her father. For the most part, it is Isidore contacting them.

Isidore was never the main contact from the beginning, but he tries his best to keep Velma’s case active.

“Six months ago, I got in contact with the police officer in Williams Lake here, but he never really got to tell me anything,” he said.

Isidore says he is not getting any younger, and it's best for him to share what he can recollect.

“I think they should have tried more to find out what really happened to her,” he said, referring to the police.

He thinks the police were getting close to solving Velma’s case when her boyfriend was still alive. But as soon as the boyfriend passed away, Isidore said the case went stale.

He believes there should be a federal inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada.

“Something has to be done," he said. "I mean, there's all these women."

Booth says far too often, families are left in the dark, not knowing what happened to their loved ones.

“That's what my dad is looking for – some kind of closure.”

Do you have more information on any of these cases?

CBC needs you

Contact us by email at mmiw@cbc.ca or anonymously via SecureDrop.

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.