Dozens gather along Highway 16 as teen's remains brought home

Jessica Patrick's remains were discovered over the weekend, nearly two weeks after she was reported missing.

Family says remains discovered over the weekend are those of Jessica Patrick, 18

People gather along Highway 16, also known as the Highway of Tears, for the return of 18-year-old Jessica Patrick's remains. (Andrew Kurjata/CBC)

Family and friends of an 18-year-old whose body was found near Smithers, B.C., have gathered along Highway 16 as the teen's body is brought home from Prince George.

Jessica Patrick's remains were discovered over the weekend, nearly two weeks after she was reported missing.

Investigators haven't confirmed the remains are Patrick's — but family say they are certain.​

The call to gather along Highway 16 as Patrick's body is driven home went out on Facebook Wednesday night. Many comments suggested people arrive dressed in red in honour of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Patrick, who also used the last name Balczer, was a young mother and a member of the Lake Babine First Nation.​

Jacquie Bowes, Patrick's cousin, said those coming together along the road — also known as the Highway of Tears — are showing their support for the teen's family.

"This is the most beautiful gesture from all over — that's supporting the family right now," Bowes said.

Jessica Patrick, 18, went missing at the end of August. She leaves behind a one-year-old daughter. (Facebook)


Patrick was last seen on Aug. 31 and reported missing on Sept. 3. No further information on her death has been released.

With files from Andrew Kurjata and Audrey McKinnon