Nova Scotia

After 40 years, disappearance of Stellarton woman remains unsolved

A walk was held Sunday in New Glasgow, N.S., in remembrance of a woman whose disappearance remains unsolved after 40 years.

‘Everyone knows who did it. It’s common knowledge,’ says son

A poster on Gottingen Street in Halifax dedicated to the memory of Lynn Oliver, who disappeared in New Glasgow, N.S., 40 years ago. (Mairin Prentiss/CBC)

A walk was held Sunday in New Glasgow, N.S., to remember a woman whose disappearance remains unsolved after 40 years.

Lynn Oliver vanished after she left work for her lunch break on August 25, 1979. 

"Everyone knows who did it," said her son, Jeff Oliver. "It's common knowledge. I knew from a very young age, probably too young, who it was. People talk about it like it's a sure shot."

Lynn Oliver left Quality Cleaners around 11:40 a.m. that day to walk home. She had expressed concern for her safety to co-workers and left a note with instructions to call her mother if she ever went missing. 

Her colleagues described her as nervous that morning. She was never seen or heard from again. She was 22 at the time. 

Reward of up to $150,000

The province is offering a reward of up to $150,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction as part of the major unsolved crimes program.

Because police never found a body, charges were never laid, said Jeff Oliver. 

His mother was a feisty, free-spirit, he said — a character, who carried a guitar with her. 

"It's a standstill," he said. "There was probably evidence, but ... it's small town Nova Scotia in 1979." 

Delaney Chisholm, a retired New Glasgow police chief, said the person of interest had previously assaulted Lynn Oliver.

"She was the victim of some domestic violence incidents and as a result he became a person of interest — a strong person of interest."

"We did have a person of interest, but really had no evidence to support the laying of any charges."

Still a missing person case

Chisholm said the matter is still considered a missing person case.

"We did suspect she was a victim of foul play." 

Jeff Oliver, who was two at the time of his mother's disappearance, said he would like to see police turn up new evidence. 

"I just want them to put a little bit of effort in," he said. 

He hopes the event honouring his mother will encourage anyone with information to come forward.