As It Happens

Maisy Marie Odjick (Last seen in 2008)

The last time Laurie Odjick saw her daughter, Maisy, she was mowing her grandmother’s lawn. It was a Friday and 16-year-old Maisy was going to be sleeping over at her cousin Shannon Alexander’s for the weekend. "I hugged her, and kissed her, told her I loved her and I'd see her later."
CBC Radio One's "As It Happens" is telling the stories of Canada's murdered and missing indigenous women and girls. Host Carol Off interviews Laurie Odjick, whose 16-year-old daughter Maisy went missing in 2008. 11:39

"I just miss having my arms around her." The last time Laurie Odjick saw her daughter, Maisy, she was mowing her grandmother's lawn. It was a Friday, and 16-year-old Maisy was going to be sleeping over at her cousin Shannon Alexander's for the weekend. "I hugged her, and kissed her, told her I loved her and I'd see her later." When she didn't hear from her daughter on the Sunday, she started to worry. It wasn't like Maisy to not be in touch. By Monday, Laurie called the police. 

But, the police of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Nation in Quebec, did not seem overly concerned about her daughter's disappearance. As Laurie tells As It Happens co-host Carol Off "nothing was done, because the police assumed the girls had run away." The family organized searches on their own: "I gathered friends and family and we went searching around the area. My friends with their boat took me and we rode the river from where they were last seen, at the school dance." A more official, thorough search was eventually conducted with the help of Search and Global Rescue 1 -- now known as Sauvetage Bénévole Outaouais -- three months after the girls vanished. 

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      Laurie sometimes hopes that Maisy did run away, "because it means she's still out there somewhere," but she feels it's unlikely. "They left all their ID, and their purses behind," she says, and "I know my daughter. Once the media got a hold of the story, and their pictures were all over the place, she would have called and said 'stop it, I'm fine' ...She would not put our family through that." 

      Laurie believes the police made assumptions about her daughter in the initial phase of the investigation, "assumptions about a risky lifestyle… Maisy never lived a risky lifestyle. I don't like to assume what they thought but how they reacted and treated our family showed a lot."  

      She recalls feeling envious of the support Brandon Crisp's family received, after the fifteen-year-old ran away from his parent's home in Barrie, Ontario. The ensuing search was massive, including helicopters and a generous cash reward. "Every family deserves that. But we don't get that." Now, Maisy's case is with an investigator with the Sûreté du Québec. 

      It has been nearly seven years since Maisy and Shannon disappeared. "To move on without her, is hard to do every day, " says Laurie. "I have other children and by no means do they replace her but they keep me together because I know they need a mom."