Hamilton

She 'was afraid for her life:' Public search for Holly Ellsworth-Clark intensifies

Hamilton police say she was last seen on Saturday Jan. 11 at 4 p.m. near Sanford Avenue North and Cannon Street area.

Hamiltonians are joining search parties and online groups in efforts to track her down

Hamilton police say Ellsworth-Clark went missing on Jan. 11. (Submitted by Hamilton Police Service)

Dave Clark says his 27-year-old daughter, Holly Ellsworth-Clark, was "very, very terrified" days before she went missing last Saturday.

"She called us and said she had been running from two men and was afraid for her life," the Calgary man told CBC News.

"We didn't know what to think, it sounded preposterous. I said I was coming out to get her and the next day, she disappeared."

His voice broke as he played a "heartbreaking" voicemail left by his daughter, begging her family to buy her a plane ticket back to Calgary.

"I'm not doing so great out here, I would really like you guys to get me home," says a voice that appears to be Ellsworth-Clark.

"I would really, really, really like a plane ticket out of Hamilton to Calgary, please and I would like to come home… I'm missing you so much and I I love you so much, that's all I want in the world," the voice says, shakily.

"I was coming out to get her and the next day she disappeared," says the Calgary father of Holly Ellsworth-Clark, who is at the centre of a search underway in Hamilton, Ont. Listen to the last message she left her family. 2:11

They haven't heard her voice since.

Ellsworth-Clark lived in Calgary with her parents and competed in amateur wrestling before moving to Hamilton to pursue music.

Now, the rest of her family is in Hamilton and organizing public efforts to find her, which have intensified more than a week after her disappearance.

Dozens are joining search parties and many more participating in online groups in efforts to track her down.

The family of Holly Ellsworth-Clark and police showed up at the Budget Inn early Monday morning after reports of her being at the motel. (Google Maps)

Hamilton police tell CBC News they consider her disappearance as a missing persons case and officers say they are investigating all information shared while also continuing to have open discussion with the family.

Monday morning, Clark and others staked out the Budget Inn on King Street East after he says tips came in to the family alleging his daughter was alive, but drugged, in the motel.

A video seen by CBC News appears to show Hamilton police responding to people outside the Budget Inn, though officers have not confirmed if they were there. CBC News later learned police searched the hotel, with the cooperation of hotel staff.

Family upset with police efforts

Clark says he is at odds with law enforcement.

"It's been agonizing, it's become frustrating, the police have not been very helpful when it comes to eliminating possibilities," he says.

"I want to have some sign of life from her."

Clark says the tips he received indicated his daughter may be a victim of human trafficking, but Hamilton police say the lead investigator of the case has no reason to believe that at this time.

Holly Ellsworth-Clark has not been seen since Jan. 11 and police are treating it as a missing persons case. (Submitted by Kirsten Toth)

Officers say Ellsworth-Clark was last seen on Saturday Jan. 11 at 4 p.m. near Sanford Avenue North and Cannon Street area.

She was "distraught" and "in crisis" when she went missing, police say, also noting she wasn't dressed for the weather.

Investigators have asked anyone with surveillance cameras to review any footage between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Jan. 11.

Ellsworth-Clark, 6'1 and 200 pounds, was last seen wearing a black long sleeve shirt, black pants, black boots possibly with a black backpack.

Clarifications

  • This article was amended to add information about police, with the cooperation of hotel staff, searching the Budget Inn.
    Mar 06, 2020 3:44 PM ET

About the Author

Bobby Hristova

Reporter/Editor

Bobby Hristova is a reporter/editor with CBC Hamilton. Email: bobby.hristova@cbc.ca

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