Sask. mother continues desperate search for daughter — two years after she went missing
Mekayla Bali was last seen at a bus depot in Yorkton, Sask., on April 12, 2016
It has been just over two years since Mekayla Bali went missing, but her mother is determined she'll come home.
"Someone out there knows what has happened to Mekayla, or where she is, and we just ask them to share that information, please. End our misery," said Paula Bali, Mekayla's mother.
"We just want to know that she's okay. And she needs to come home. She's a beautiful young lady with her whole life ahead of her."
Mekayla was last seen at a bus depot in her hometown of Yorkton, Sask., on April 12, 2016. She was 16-years-old at the time.
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Paula has been actively searching for Mekayla ever since.
She has taken several trips to cities in Canada and the U.S., hanging posters and asking if anyone has seen her daughter.
She has organized countless fundraisers and awareness events, while lobbying multiple organizations to help find her daughter.
In doing so, she has received numerous tips from people around Canada and in different countries, including the U.S. and U.K.
There have also been extensive investigations by RCMP.
Despite Paula's efforts — and the efforts of those helping her — there haven't been any confirmed sightings of Mekayla.
Paula said she's still hopeful, but the disappearance has taken a toll on her family, especially Mekayla's siblings.
I know it takes a village to raise a child, but I think it might take a nation to find one that's missing.- Paula Bali, Mekayla's mother
Mekayla's younger brother has trouble pouring himself a glass of chocolate milk because he feels guilty not knowing if his sister has access to food, she said.
"That's something no little boy should live with," she said.
The ordeal has been trying on Paula as well.
"It's hard to believe it has been two years. Many days it feels like it's hours, and then other days it seems like an eternity," she said.
"She was a loving, gentle kid. She wanted to be a kindergarten teacher. She was nothing but a pleasure to raise as a child."
'I don't feel like she has passed'
Despite Paula's active approach, she said she fears people will forget about Mekayla.
"I know it takes a village to raise a child, but I think it might take a nation to find one that's missing," she said.
"I don't feel like Mekayla is gone. I feel like she's not safe, but I don't feel like she has passed."
A benefit concert was held on Saturday night to raise awareness and funds to find Mekayla, and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover costs associated with the search.
At the time of her disappearance, Mekayla was described as five-foot-two, about 115 pounds, with long ash-blond hair and blue eyes, occasionally wearing glasses.
The family is offering a $25,000 reward for her safe return.
"We're just desperate," Paula said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact RCMP or Crimestoppers.