Claudette Priscilla June Osborne (Last seen in 2008)
Matthew Bushby still holds out hope that he'll see his fiancée, Claudette Osborne, again. But he says not knowing what happened to her is "like open heart surgery and them not sewing you up."
The last time Matthew saw Claudette, she had just given birth to their baby girl, Patience. He stayed with her for a few days in the hospital, and then had to return to work. After he left, Manitoba Child and Family Services took Patience, saying Claudette needed to go into drug treatment. Matthew says this was something she wanted to do, but while still keeping custody of her daughter: "She had slipped and she had recognized that she didn't want to continue that way of life and was working hard to change it."
Shortly after she was discharged from the hospital, she disappeared.
Matthew realized something was wrong when he got a call from Claudette's sister. She had received a disturbing message from Claudette: she said she was being held against her will at the Lincoln Hotel in Winnipeg's north end. The family took the information to the Winnipeg police, and opened a missing person's report. But Matthew sensed the police were not taking the case seriously. He tells As It Happens host Carol Off "It wasn't for two weeks before they really started to work."
He says the police attributed her disappearance to her "lifestyle" and that "she'd be back when the money ran out." Matthew was frustrated, and told them he knew her better than they did: "She was a mom first. Sure, she had an addiction, but she didn't go for long periods of time." When the police started their search in earnest, two weeks after the missing person's report was filed, the security footage at the Lincoln Hotel had been taped over.
Now, almost seven years later, Matthew is raising their kids on his own. He tells them that "if mom could come home, she would." Matthew hasn't given up on the idea that someone out there might know something that could lead him to her. Holding back his tears, he says "I play the lottery just so that I can have a chance one day maybe to offer a large reward... enough for someone to break the silence." But he tells Carol it's difficult to move on without any closure: "We need answers. We need to know what happened. We need to know where she is. If she's harmed, we need to bring her home."