An Indigenous teenager who left home a year ago hasn't been seen by her family since
An Indigenous teenager who left home a year ago hasn't been seen by her family since
An Indigenous teenage girl walked out of her home in May of last year, and hasn't been seen by her family since.
Police in Port Coquitlam, B.C., say Noelle O'Soup, who goes by Elli, walked out of her house on May 12, 2021.
She left around dinner time. She left "without permission," police said, not explaining further what that meant. When asked, Mounties said they couldn't speak to her exact living situation and repeated that she "did not have permission to leave."
Officers in the Metro Vancouver city say they want to know that she's safe. Her family is concerned.
It's unknown what happened to Elli, who is just 14.
Police described her as a "high-risk" missing person, but also said that she may be avoiding a wellness check from officers.
They said she's known to spend time throughout the Lower Mainland, including in Vancouver.
In the time since she's disappeared, police have put out advisories seeking information on her whereabouts, and in January released new photos, hoping for leads.
Officers said they were making the surveillance camera photos public in hopes of moving the investigation forward. They did not say whether they believe the person in the photos is Elli, or if they think the person is someone else with ties to her.
Mounties said Tuesday that the photos generated some new leads, which were "investigated thoroughly," but that the RCMP is still looking to contact that person "to determine if there is any connection to Elli."
It's been a year since Elli was reported missing, and Mounties said in a news release Tuesday that they've followed up on every tip but still haven't found her.
RCMP Cpl. Paige Kuz said in an email to CTV that her case has been a top priority, and that "dozens and dozens" of leads have been looked into. She said officers have used "all investigative avenues and techniques" available to those who work missing persons cases.
They're looking for more information from the public and say that "no call is too small" and "every bit of information is significant."
Elli is described as 5'6" and about 200 pounds with short black hair, but police note her appearance may have changed over the last year. She has scars on her forearms.
Police ask anyone with any information to contact the Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550, or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously.
The RCMP estimates that between 70,000 and 80,000 people are reported missing each year in Canada, and says that most are found within seven days.
The most recent data available is from 2020. At that time, B.C. had the highest number of missing adult reports per capita at 239 per 100,000 people. The province did not have the highest rate of missing children and youth, but did see a total of 5,870 reports that year.
Indigenous women and girls are disproportionately represented in these reports.
According to the Assembly of First Nations, 11 per cent of missing females are Indigenous, despite Indigenous people only making up about 4.3 per cent of the population of Canada. The current data is believed to underrepresent the scale of the issue, the AFN says.
The RCMP said Indigenous women represent 10 per cent of cases in which a woman has been missing for at least 30 days, a statistic based on a 2015 report. Of those women, many were identified as missing "due to 'unknown' circumstances or foul play was suspected."
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