Hamilton

Foul play suspected in disappearance of 'somewhat bohemian' Monica Chisar: police

As far as police know, a dark night last July was the last time anyone saw Monica Chisar. Now investigators believe something terrible has happened.

Chisar has been missing since July 2018, when a friend dropped her off in the east end

Monica Chisar has been missing since July, says Det. Sgt. Dave Oleniuk. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

As far as police know, a dark night last July was the last time anyone saw Monica Chisar. Now investigators believe something terrible has happened.

It was just after midnight. A friend was dropping her off at the Beer Store at Barton and Parkdale Avenue North, a stone's throw from a squat four-storey apartment complex, a Hyundai dealership and the eggshell-coloured Melvin Apartments.

Chisar was going to stay with a friend there, which wasn't unusual. She moved around a lot.

She was known to disappear for a little while, then pop up somewhere else, said Det. Sgt. Dave Oleniuk of Hamilton Police Service. But the 28-year-old with the rust-coloured hair usually documented it on Instagram.

Her account has been dormant for months now, says Oleniuk. The major crimes unit has taken over, but police have no suspects, and no leads.

"Although it is not definitive at this point, there is reason to believe there's foul play involved in her disappearance," Oleniuk said at a media event Friday.

"I wanted to take this opportunity to remind the greater community that she is still missing."

Police say Monica Chisar is from Toronto, but has lived in several places and spent time in Kitchener too. (Hamilton police)

Chisar's last known whereabouts were outside that Beer Store, just after midnight on July 11. She had "a wide range of friends and acquaintances," Oleniuk said, and she was apparently going to stay with one of them. Police don't know which friend it was, or which building.

Chisar had worked as an escort and an exotic dancer, Oleniuk said, but police don't believe she was doing that work around the time of her disappearance. Her employment was "sporadic," he said. She also had a drug problem. Oleniuk said she owed people some money, but "that's all I'm going to say about that."

Chisar had what Oleniuk describes as a somewhat bohemian, "unconventional lifestyle."

"She would be fairly carefree," he said. "She would go on extended trips and stay with friends."

In the past, he said, she would disappear for a while. But "she'd call from other places, other countries, and touch base with family," he said.

Chisar was last seen at this intersection of Barton Street and Parkdale Avenue North. (Google)

"When she first went missing, family just thought this was another one of those occurrences. They reported her missing on Sept. 28 because there had been no activity on social media."

Chisar is from Toronto, but has lived in several places. She was spending time in Kitchener too, and police want to know more about that.

She had one son from whom she was estranged, and contact on and off with relatives. Her family is cooperating with the investigation, Oleniuk said.

A tattoo that says 'I love my daddy FC'

Chisar has green eyes and shoulder-length, reddish brown hair.

She also has a small star tattoo on the left side of her neck, a crown on her left wrist, and tattoos on her upper back. One says "Ethan," and the other reads "I love my daddy FC."

Oleniuk said they're not investigating her disappearance in relation to any other cases right now.

It's possible Chisar is still alive, police say, and has disappeared for her own reasons. But Oleniuk says police want to talk to anybody who knew her, and to call him (905-546-3829) or Crime Stoppers with any tips.

"We want to remind people that Monica is still missing."

About the Author

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca