with files from Omineca Express staff
Three years ago today, Madison “Maddy” Scott went missing and Vanderhoof has never been the same.
Maddy’s missing posters still adorn mailboxes, bulletin boards, bumper stickers and buildings throughout the area as a testament that hope still exists that she will be found.
Scott’s family, who wished not to be interviewed, issued a statement on Friday prior to the Maddy Poker Ride through the Vanderhoof RCMP.
“May 28th will mark three years since the disappearance of Madison Scott. It remains an unexplained mystery that leaves a family searching for answers, and ultimately the return of a loved one. The days are often extended and certainly do not get easier as time elapses. The holidays tend to lose the majority of their significance with the absence of a family member, thus resulting in an incomplete gathering. Our days are consumed reflecting on her presence and the memories, while we anticipate the dreams that present the opportunity for the long-delayed reconnection; the opportunity to communicate a few words, or the grasp of a hug is an indescribable sensation, although it is a just dream.
“We grip closely the words that include hope, faith, believe and love, which have simply coalesced within our daily language. The respective connotations produce positive energies that have enabled us to remain strong and convinced that the desired solutions will be yielded.
One of the most difficult aspects is having the matters of a reserved family become a public affair. Although we all have become much invested in retrieving a common explanation, the words to address the topic are most challenging to find, and often awkward to communicate. Furthermore, it is near impossible to find the appropriate words to express our appreciation for the persisting support. Our family has been extremely fortunate to be surrounded by relentless family, friends, and communities. We are forever grateful for the enduring and continuous support,” the Scott family statement said.
“Our family has been preparing for the third Maddy Poker Ride as we approach the date of Maddy’s disappearance. The poker ride enables our family to maintain our presence and sustain awareness within the community. It is also an opportunity to correspondingly enjoy the activities that Maddy loves most. This event is a true representation of Maddy; it has become a social gathering of friends, family, and community members in a setting in which Maddy blooms most while presenting a connection to the outdoors through her preferred activities. We hope you are able to join us in this opportunity to maintain the awareness and enjoy the day in true Maddy fashion.
We would once again like to thank you for your extended and persistent support.”
Three years ago, Madison went to Hogsback Lake with a group of her friends intent on celebrating a birthday on Friday, May 27, 2011. She set up her two-toned blue tent and parked her white Chevy truck.
Everyone left to go home at about 3 a.m.
She has not been seen since.
When she wasn’t home by Sunday afternoon police were notified and headed out to the lake. There Madison’s tent and truck were found, but she was not. The family immediately turned to social media and networking sites, trying to find Madison or locate someone who knew where she was. Very soon after that volunteers and Search and Rescue headed out to the site and an intensive search began. The area was combed by people on foot and ATV’s and the lake was searched with sonar.
“She’s not in the lake and there was a thorough search of the area,” Smith said. “We believe either she has been taken, or she’s in the area and we just need to find her.”
Although sure her disappearance was not a misadventure, there is a vast forest surrounding the area. Smith said one thing people heading out to camp, fish or hike right now could do is simply be aware of their surroundings. If something looks or smells suspicious, go and investigate why. Walk in areas where you commonly would not. Check ditches. Watch for birds congregating or colours that seem out of place.
“If you find something, contact the RCMP. Note the coordinates if you have a GPS,” then-North District RCMP media liaison Const. Lesley Smith said said. “Wherever you are outdoors, keep in mind Madison Scott is missing.”
Police also believe someone knows something about Madison’s disappearance though that person might not even be aware of it or think it’s a small insignificant detail.
“The family as well as the RCMP know there is somebody out there who has information or has it and doesn’t know it who can help us with the investigation,” Smith said.
Getting that information, no matter how insignificant it might seen, may well add the missing puzzle piece in the investigation.
The case, she said, relies heavily on witnesses, people who possibly have been too afraid to come forward.
“We encourage anyone who remembers the smallest detail to come forward. It could lead us in the right direction”
She said the police even need to rule out the rumours. They need to hear from the person who had the piece of information rather than a third person.
Investigators with the North District Major Crime Unit continue to actively investigate Madison (Maddy) Scott’s disappearance. Anyone with information concerning Maddy’s disappearance are asked to call the Vanderhoof RCMP detachment at 250-567-2222 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477
The video documentary that details the disappearance of Madison Scott is finished and online.
Creator Steven Scouller made the video with the cooperation of the RCMP and the community of Vanderhoof in order to help get Maddy’s face and information out there.
“I first learned of Madison’s disappearance through an article that I read on the internet and I was intrigued by the unusual circumstances surrounding it,” said Scouller. “So, when I started to read more about it, I was sucked into the horrific nature of what potentially could have happened to Madison. As an investigative documentary film maker I examined the case and decided that I could help by utilizing my skills as an awareness film maker to produce a film that could act as a central repository of accurate information.”
The film is less than an hour long and available online on vimeo. It includes interviews of the Scott family, friends and several members of the community of Vanderhoof.