Delaine Copenace's family makes plea for her safe return in Kenora
16-year-old girl went missing from downtown Kenora around 6 p.m. on Feb. 27
The family of missing teen Delaine Copenace, 16, is pleading for information and her safe return home.
"Wherever she may be ... me, her mom, her daughters, her family, her friends care, miss her and love her ... come home safe to us," her father Tony Copenace said in Kenora Tuesday over the noon hour surrounded by family and people from the community.
"I pray to the creator she is somewhere warm and safe. Bring her home to us."
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Since then, searches have been underway in Kenora and Winnipeg, a place she often visited.
At noon, Copenace's mom, family members and people from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection spoke at a community centre in the small northwestern Ontario city.
I know right now she is somewhere, she is terrified, she is wondering when we are going to find her.- Anida Ross
Her mother, Anida Ross, said it's been 10 days since she last saw her daughter.
"She went out on a walk with her friends and never did I imagine her not coming home again," she said.
Ross said her daughter is a "homebody" who would almost never leave home alone without a friend or family member.
"My baby, Delaine, is a shy girl but will come out of her shell with people she trusts and is comfortable with."
Ross said the past 10 days have been hard on everyone in Copenace's life. She wakes up and prays for her daughter's safe return every day, she said.
Copenace's twin sister has tried to find comfort in watching old videos of the two together since she went missing, Ross said.
"At the end of the day, she is missing her other half," Ross added.
'We won't accept that a child has vanished'
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection (CCCP) has urged people to keep an eye out for the teen, including checking yards and outbuildings.
Christy Dzikowicz, director of the Child Safety and Family Advocacy Division of the CCCP, said the family is desperate to find Copenace and knows "she would not choose to be away from them."
"This should trouble all of us," she said. "As a community, we must decide that we will not stop until Delaine is found. We won't accept that a child has vanished; that a piece of this family and this community has disappeared."
Ross said the family is grateful for all of the support they continue to receive in Kenora and the surrounding area, including from the OPP, who were at the event.
"I won't stop until my baby is home. And to the OPP, thank you for not giving up on my daughter — she is your daughter, too," Ross said.
First Nations communities have raised $8,000 for anyone with information about Copenace's whereabouts.
Copenace is described by Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) as having a larger build, with brown eyes and long black hair. She was last seen wearing black boots, a black jacket, a "Bullet for my Valentine" T-shirt and black jeans with zippered pockets.
Police are asking anyone with information to call Kenora OPP at 1-888-310-1122.
"If you know where my daughter is and you're scared because you made some bad decisions, please do the right thing and let her come home to her family," Ross said.