Podcasts team up to keep Ashley Morin's disappearance in public consciousness
Ashley Morin was 31 when she disappeared from North Battleford, Sask. in July 2018
Numerous national and international podcasts are sharing an episode about Ashley Morin, a North Battleford, Sask. woman who disappeared two years ago, with their listeners.
Their shared goal is to keep Morin's case in the public consciousness.
Morin was reported missing on July 10, 2018. She was 31-years-old and is from Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation. Since then, her family has heard nothing from her. RCMP in 2019 said they believed Morin was the victim of a homicide.
Occultae Veritatis Podcast, a Saskatoon-based podcast, got the ball rolling when they recorded an interview with a spokesperson for Morin's family and Morin's sister. The episode is titled 'Where is Ashley Morin?'
"If one person out there hears that audio and is able to get a good tip into Crime Stoppers that might be able to bring Ashley home, then that's kind of the goal I'm working toward," said Brandon Gerbig, co-producer of Occultae Veritatis Podcast.
Morin's family is offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to finding her or to an arrest.
"Not much police attention was paid toward her case. It's my opinion that the government and police have de-prioritized a lot of Indigenous missing people," said Gerbig.
"It almost feels in some cases that these people have been swept under the rug and that's the story that happened with Ashley."
After recording the interview, Gerbig reached out to as many podcasts as he could, asking them if they would upload the episode to their feeds. To date, 32 podcasts across Canada, the U.S. and abroad have released the episode to their listeners.
Gerbig says that number is likely to grow.
Some of the podcasts that shared Morin's story are Catastrophes Notwithstanding and The Blackbird Advocacy Podcast.
'We're never, ever going to rest'
Gerbig said he feels especially passionate about the case because he and Morin are both from North Battleford. He said Morin lived right next to John Paul II Collegiate, the high school he had gone to.
"It really hit home for me," Gerbig said. "The more questions I asked about this case the more haunting it became. I felt like a member of my community had gone missing. So I had to get involved."
Krista Fox, who was interviewed for the podcast, is a spokesperson for Morin's family and a close friend of the family. She says they did not expect the podcast episode to get so much attention from other podcasts.
"It's a nice surprise," said Fox.
She says getting the story beyond her community and to other provinces is beneficial to Morin's case.
"Somebody listening in B.C. might have a friend or a relative or somebody who came to visit them and had to get something off their mind or whatever the case may be."
RCMP Major Crimes is investigating Morin's disappearance, but does not share with the family updates on the case. Whenever they feel that public attention on Morin is quieting down, Fox says the family tries to revive it.
"This year due to COVID we kind of felt nothing had been happening — 'We don't know what's happening, so let's just get out there and start making a move … shake the trees and see what falls out,'" said Fox.
"We want to remind people that she's still missing. That she's loved. There are people out there looking for her and we're never, ever going to rest. We're not going to give up. We're going to keep looking. We'll keep raising money to up the reward."
Gerbig is encouraging anyone with a podcast, YouTube channel or social media account to "steal" the MP3 from any of the podcasts that have played the Morin episode and upload it to their streams to get her story out.
Morin's family has encouraged anyone with information about Morin's disappearance or where she might be to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.