Police hope for new leads in disappearance of Kitigan Zibi teens
Friends Maisy Odjick and Shannon Alexander vanished a decade ago
Ten years to the day after teens Maisy Odjick and Shannon Alexander vanished from a home near the Kitigan Zibi First Nation, Quebec provincial police say they hope to turn up new leads.
Police set up a command post in the community's cultural centre Thursday.
Odjick, then 16, and Alexander, then 17, were last seen in Alexander's Maniwaki home. For a decade, police have tried to figure out what happened. So have the girls's family and friends.
Odjick's aunt, Maria Jacko, said she created a website to help find the girls a month after they disappeared, but she never thought 10 years would pass without a resolution.
"I remember a lot of people telling me, 'You don't need to make that website. The girls went to the park, they ran away, they went here, they went there, the girls will be back,'" said Jacko, who also organizes an annual run to raise awareness and to help fund a reward for anyone who locates Maisy and Shannon, or provides relevant information.
"It doesn't get any easier because there are still those answers that we need," she said. "Maisy and Shannon went missing together. They went missing without a trace. All their things were left behind. They didn't have anything with them. All their ID was left at Shannon's place.
"We've gotten a lot of leads over the years and they just haven't panned out."
Police investigation continues
In 2015, the Sûreté du Québec police force released two artist's renditions of what the teenagers may look like as adults, and renewed their call for assistance from the public.
At times Odjick's mother has criticized police for their handling of the investigation, saying it was family and community members who led search parties.
But according to Jacko, the family has come to see things differently over the years.
"We come from a small community, and our community has never dealt with a situation like that. I don't blame [police] because how can you do something that you don't have knowledge of," she said.