It’s been 2 years since Jessica Patrick’s body was found in Smithers; case still unsolved

Jessica Patrick’s grave, located at the at the Town of Smithers municipal cemetery. (File photo)Jessica Patrick’s grave, located at the at the Town of Smithers municipal cemetery. (File photo)
Jessica Patrick (Balczer)Jessica Patrick (Balczer)

Two years after her death, Jessica Patrick’s family is still looking for answers.

Patrick was last seen leaving Mountain View Motel in Smithers in the early morning hours of Aug. 31 2018.

Her body was not found until Sept. 15 2018 off Hudson Bay Mountain Road. To this day, the case remains unsolved, but RCMP say the investigation is active and ongoing.

However, Patrick’s cousin Jacquie Bowes doesn’t feel like police are doing enough.

“It feels like they are giving us the runaround,” she says. “The major crime unit would check in with us every six months, or three to four months, very sporadic. They basically just say they haven’t forgotten about you, Jessica is still first on our list, we want to make sure this case doesn’t become cold. Basically everything we want to hear. We are tired of hearing the runaround. They say Jessica is a priority but they feel overwhelmed with other cases.”

She added she told the major crimes unit in the very beginning that she refuses to let her case go cold and that they are setting a precedent allowing murderers to get away with it.

Patrick’s sister Kirsten echoed those concerns.

“I’ve been trying to call them, I’ve been asking the cops and no one is saying anything to me. I am getting very frustrated. I’m working on finding out who did it and why. I heard that she owed money, but that is about it.”

Kirsten said she misses her sister’s laugh and amazing humour, but also simply just misses loving her.

“I’m pretty heartbroken,” she added. “I raised her.”

The location of Jessica Patrick’s body when it was found. (Google map)

The location of Jessica Patrick’s body when it was found. (Google map)

Kirsten’s husband Floyd Hyzins is also concerned the case will be closed before finding out what happened to his sister-in-law.

“Why aren’t they doing anything anymore? It is hard for all of us knowing if we will get justice or not,” he said.

Bowes said the local detachment didn’t take the case seriously enough when Patrick was first reported missing.

According to Corporal Madonna Saunderson, Patrick was reported missing by her mother and sister on September 3, 2018 at 5:20 p.m. to Smithers detachment who initiated a missing persons investigation. On Sept. 6 the first media release was issued.

“As Jessica was not reported to the RCMP as missing until Sept. 3, there was no search or investigation conducted by the RCMP into her disappearance prior to the report date,” she said.

On Sept. 15, 2018, her body was located by a family member near Hudson Bay Mountain Lookout.

“During the period of Sept. 3 to 15, the RCMP conducted multiple searches some of which were done pursuant to warrants in an effort to not only locate Jessica, but identify anyone who may have been involved in her disappearance,” Saunderson added.

Bowes said a family member should not have been the one who found her body and that she felt her family did more of the investigating than police did.

She is also frustrated that the federal government has spent a lot of time and money on the National Inquiry for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, but isn’t putting much into action.

“They need to create a trained team, so as soon as someone goes missing someone is assigned to be an investigator,” she said. “It was quite traumatic what we went through in order to find Jessica. It was bad enough that we were worried, we didn’t know what we’d come across when we were searching. We didn’t know if we would find her alive or deceased. A family shouldn’t have to go through that.”

Bowes is an aboriginal community legal worker and is advocating for better resources for Indigenous children.

“I work with children that are in children protection care. With Jessica, it became a passion of mine, especially knowing that Jessica was in care. She was only 18, she was still in MCFDC [The Ministry of Children and Family Development] care when she was deceased.”

Bowes also said she will miss Patrick’s smile the most.

“Even though she was going through so much and just basically trying to survive and she hid [her struggles] all so well. She wanted to give her daughter everything she didn’t have.”

While there may not have been much action on Patrick’s case, there is work being done in the community to help families of missing and murdered indigenous women heal. The Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society applied for a grant from the federal government’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Commemoration Fund for a mural to be painted on the outside of their building on Main Street in Smithers.

READ MORE: Friendship Centre optimistic MMIWG mural will be painted this year

Further down the Highway of Tears, a name given to a stretch of Highway 16 where many Indigenous women have gone missing or been murdered, a totem pole honouring Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls was raised earlier this month.

READ MORE: Community gathers for monumental totem pole raising along B.C.’s Highway of Tears

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

The Purcell Wilderness Conservancy is the largest protected area in southeastern B.C. Photo: B.C. Parks
Province adds land to Valhalla and Purcell parks

Both additions enhance the parks’ ecological values, the province says

RCMP responded to a report early Friday morning of a suspect firing a gun at a Salmo home. Photo: Black Press
RCMP arrest woman who fired shots at Salmo home

The woman allegedly discharged a firearm early Friday morning

Nelson is holding a municipal by-election to replace former councillor Brittny Anderson, who resigned in December. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson by-election nomination deadlines set

Candidacies must be registered between Feb. 9 and Feb. 19

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read