A missing persons poster for April Parisian in front of Hope’s district hall. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

Family appeal to skilled backcountry users to join Fraser Canyon search for missing woman

Mountaineers, rock climbers, miners, hunters, trappers needed to search remote area near Spuzzum

The family of a woman missing since early April are asking for people skilled in navigating the backcountry, as well as drone operators and gold miners to join a search of a remote area in the Fraser Canyon Sunday.

Family have been leading daily searches for April Parisian, 45, from the Fraser Valley up to the community of Spuzzum where Parisian lives. A search is organized Sunday to a location north of Spuzzum that Parisian’s aunt Carmel Crowchild has pinpointed after receving a vision about where her neice might be.

Crowchild said she is a seer who has been searching for murdered and missing Indigenous women and men for 25 years. She travelled from Regina, Saskatchewan after seeing a vision about what happened to her neice.

The vision involved Crowchild’s late grandmother Dorothy Maquabeak Francis, a storyteller, educator, founder of the first Aboriginal Friendship Centre and member of the order of Canada. “I was given a vision my grandma came and told me to keep April safe,” Crowchild said. “She showed me where April was, what happened to April.”

Crowchild said the area will require people who are skilled in the backcountry and mountaineering – people who know how to navigate the land, including being skilled in off road driving. People who know the Spuzzum area are also needed.

“I need experienced mountain climbers…experienced back country people. I need off roaders, I need quads, I need drones on this search,” Crowchild said, adding people should bring backcountry gear. “Hunters, trappers, backcountry people, gold miners.”

It is critical people know how to navigate challenging terrain Crowchild said, as safety is paramount. Searchers should meet at 10 a.m. Sunday, April 26, at the Hope River General Store, the Esso gas station in Emory Creek.

“Time is against us, obviously, and we are feeling in our hearts that we know we’re bringing a body home,” said Parisian’s cousin Tammy Francis, who has been leading search efforts together with her family. “But it’s just getting that help to find that body.”

If she isn’t found, Francis said, “she will always be a missing person then and we will never have closure for her.”

“Living with that horror is just, it’s really unbearable, of just not knowing,” Francis said, her voice filled with tears.

Homicide investigators working on missing persons case

The RCMP’s homicide investigation team are continuing an investigation into Parisian’s disappearance. Tuesday, April 21 they appealed to anyone who may have seen Parisian, her boyfriend Paris Margesson or her vehicle – a red 1998 Chevrolet 2500, with B.C. licence plate MX8810 – to contact police.

Parisian is described by police as an Indigenous female with blonde hair and blue eyes, 170 centimetres (5 ft 7 inches) tall, weighing 127 kilograms (280 pounds.)

Police believe she may have met with foul play, said spokesperson for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) Cpl Frank Jang. Her vehicle was found April 17 on Vye Road between Chilliwack and Abbotsford, a man was located inside who later died of self-inflicted injuries.

Read more: IHIT suspect foul play in case of missing Fraser Canyon woman

Anyone with information should call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-4448, or by email at ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca. Should you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).



emelie.peacock@hopestandard.com

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IHIT is looking for help to find April Parisian (at right with her boyfriend Paris Margesson) last communicated with on March 28, 2020. She may have been with her red Chevrolet truck and her brown pug. (RCMP)

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