We introduce you to some of the victims, they’re babies, teens, and grandmas. Search our interactive tool of the 1,725 missing people and unsolved murder cases in BC.
How many were under investigation? Were some files closed? Were any ruled accidental?
Members of the Summit, which represents a majority of B.C. First Nations and Tribal Councils, hoped their questions would turn up the heat on police.
“They were dealing with a crisis that their mothers and sisters and aunties were going missing and nobody was doing anything about it, and that they were being murdered and still nothing was being done about it,” said Cheryl Casimer, a political executive with the Summit. She was not with the organization in 1997, but has been told about the advocacy work at the time.
Of those 48 files flagged so many years ago, 42 of them remain unresolved today: Most are cold cases, and in a handful the main suspect was never charged or convicted.
It’s a dismal outcome for victims’ families who need answers and justice to heal, said Casimer.
“When I looked at the list of the names, it was haunting,” she said. “It was almost like if their names hadn’t been on that list then they would just be invisible. That’s all that was left of them was their names on a list. And that was really disturbing and heart wrenching.”
As Postmedia reported last week, they hope the database can be used to pinpoint where important information is missing, illustrate main causes behind missing-and-murdered cases, and identify actions that community activists, politicians and police could take to increase safety.
The Midnight Order has completed entering details — including age, race, date and location last seen — for 6,325 victims. At this point, more than a quarter of these finished files are from B.C. and nearly one-third of the B.C. victims identified so far are Indigenous, with the vast majority of those being female.