“It has shaken the entire community of Vanderhoof.”
A long year has passed since Madison Scott disappeared from Hogsback Lake Forestry campsite, a year, for her family, filled with missed birthdays, a Christmas, Mothers Day and a graduation.
North District RCMP media liaison Const. Lesley Smith said that not only does Madison’s family have to deal every day with her disappearance, but so do all those who love her, her friends and the entire community.
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. Madison stayed.
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.”
Though 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,” Smith 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 seem, 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.
The RCMP continues to be involved with the family and the entire Major Crimes Unit is working the case. The family recently increased the award money.
A re-enactment video has been prepared to bring awareness to party goers at the location and is available on the RCMP website.