Saskatoon

Sask. family continues to search for answers to missing daughter 2 years after disappearance

The family of a missing Saskatoon woman is holding its 2nd annual awareness walk to renew calls for information about her nearly two years after she was last seen.

Lindsey Bishop, missing woman's sister, walking across Canada for MMIWG+

a man in a blue jacket hugs another person with a brick wall in the background
Megan Gallagher's father Brian Gallagher, right, hugs Megan's sister, Lindsey Bishop, outside the provincial courthouse in Saskatoon. On Monday, family member Megan Gallagher will have been missing for two years. (Don Somers/CBC)

The family of a missing Saskatoon woman will host its second annual walk of awareness for her in hopes that someone will  break the silence that hovers around her disappearance.

Megan Gallagher was last seen on September 19, 2020, when she left a friend's residence in Saskatoon's west end. Her family last saw her the day before when she was at the family farm just outside of the city.

A police report was filed on Sept. 30.

Four people arrested in connection with her disappearance are facing a charge of indignity to human remains.

While police believe Gallagher is a homicide victim, none of the people have been charged with murder.

On Thursday, Gallagher's parents, Debbie and Brian, spoke briefly with reporters outside the provincial courthouse in Saskatoon after one of the accused, John Sanderson, appeared in court.

Brian Gallagher said it's about the 35th time the family has attended a court appearance, with Debbie adding "and we still haven't found Megan."

Girl on ground
Megan Gallagher was last seen in Saskatoon on Sept. 19, 2020. She is described as five feet 10 inches tall, with brown hair, brown eyes and weighs about 180 pounds. (Brian Gallagher/Facebook)

"The silence is killing us," Brian Gallagher said."The silence is literally killing many of us. There are people out there that have information; there are things that need to come forward.

"The four that are accused in this case have carried these secrets for two years and that's the silence that kills us … and that's the silence that lets this continue to happen."

'So many other families ... in a similar scenario'

There are 40 missing women and girls in the province according to the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police

While comprising only about 17 per cent of Saskatchewan's female population according to 2016 census figures, half the missing women and girls are of Aboriginal descent, including Métis.

"There are so many other families that are … living a similar existence in a similar scenario with our missing loved ones," Brian said. "It doesn't end. The tragedy just continues day by day."

Lindsey Bishop, Megan's sister, and her husband say they are walking across Canada to raise awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and two-spirit people. 

They started in February in Victoria, B.C., and reached Perth, Ont., before turning around to return to Saskatoon, she told reporters.

Lindsey Bishop speaks with reporters outside the provincial courthouse in Saskatoon on Thursday, days before the second anniversary of her sister's disappearance. (Don Somers/CBC)

She will be at Sunday's walk for her sister, starting at Joe Gallagher Field at 9:30 a.m. and departing to the amphitheatre at River Landing at about 10:15 a.m.

However, she will continue her walk first to Ottawa before moving on to the planned destination of St. John's, N.L.

Bishop said she's heard "heartbreaking" stories of missing loved ones while on her journey across Canada.

When asked how she maintains her strength during the cross-country walk, Bishop said "it's trying at times."

"I find strength in knowing that she would be proud of me and that I'm doing something to hopefully make sure that less people in the future have to deal with the pain and heartache that we do," she said.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story included an incorrect reference to murdered and missing women. The figures referred to Saskatchewan, not Manitoba
    Sep 15, 2022 7:34 PM CT

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dayne Patterson is a reporter for CBC News in Saskatchewan and is based in Saskatoon. He has a master's degree in journalism with an interest in data reporting and Indigenous affairs. Reach him at dayne.patterson@cbc.ca.

With files from Penny Smoke

now