Manitoba

Hope, belief are all we have, says mother of Claudette Osborne-Tyo at vigil marking disappearance

It's been nine and a half years since Claudette Osborne-Tyo went missing, and her mom says she's missed her every single day since.

Claudette Osborne-Tyo was 21 when she disappeared in 2008

A supporter holds candles at the vigil for Claudette Osborne-Tyo, who disappeared in 2008 when she was 21. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

It's been nine and a half years since Claudette Osborne-Tyo went missing, and her mom says she's missed her every single day since.

"It's hard every day getting up in the morning and hoping this day is the day that I hear from my daughter," said Brenda Osborne, speaking at a vigil marking the anniversary of Osborne-Tyo's disappearance on Wednesday night in Winnipeg.

"Every night I go to bed, it's the same thing. I say a prayer, that's all I've been doing, because it's the only thing that we have, is hope and belief."

Osborne-Tyo was 21 when she was last seen on July 24, 2008. The last known place the mother of four is believed to have been was a payphone at Selkirk Avenue and King Street, so that's where family, friends and supporters met on Wednesday night.

They've been meeting there annually for years.

"We do these events annually to raise awareness on the issue of these women being taken, being stolen from us, and it continues to happen," said Tina Osborne, Osborne-Tyo's sister, to the group.

"The reason we do these events is even if just one more person heard that plea for my sister, they might have the information that we need that'll lead to her coming home."

Others also spoke to the crowd, including NDP MLAs Nahanni Fontaine and Bernadette Smith, who is Osborne-Tyo's sister.

Brenda Osborne, right, speaks about her daughter, Claudette Osborne-Tyo, who went missing when she was 21 in 2008. Bernadette Smith, Osborne-Tyo's sister, stands at her side. Smith is also an NDP MLA. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

"It's also important to bring community together and to support other families who are going through this as well. We know that as this national inquiry goes on that these statistics continue to rise. You know, women are still continuing to be murdered and in fact even men," Smith said.

"We need to raise awareness around this so that this stops happening and that people become involved before they're directly affected. We all have responsibility in keeping our community safe."

After speeches, drumming and a ring dance at Selkirk Avenue and King Street, the group walked to the Indian and Métis Friendship Centre for a feast.

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