'We need her back home': Family of missing Port Moody woman says they're not giving up
VANCOUVER -- It’s been over a month since Trina Hunt of Port Moody, B.C., vanished without a trace, and the six weeks that have passed have been filled with anguish for those who love her.
Her cousin-in-law Stephanie Ibbott and other family and friends gathered near Rocky Point Park on Monday morning to hang a banner featuring a large missing poster for Hunt and contact information for the Port Moody Police and Crime Stoppers.
“She’s incredible, and we need her back home,” Ibbott said, and added their world has been turned “upside down” without her. “It’s a struggle.”
The 48-year-old was last seen at her home on the morning of Jan. 18. Police have said when her husband returned home from work, she was gone.
Despite previous air and ground searches, and a massive community search effort which is now on hold, there has been no sign of her.
Ibbott also shared a statement from Hunt’s husband.
“The past six weeks since Trina’s disappearance have been a devastating and incredibly difficult time for me and everyone who knows my wife,” it read. “I feel the same frustration and incomprehension that her parents, family, and friends share, in not knowing what has happened to Trina. I am confident the police are doing all they can to solve this case, and I am hopeful that they will bring Trina home.”
Ibbott described Hunt as bubbly and thoughtful, with a eye for detail, a zest for life and a “heart of gold."
“She loves to host people, she loves to entertain,” Ibbott said. “She puts on an amazing dinner party.”
Friends and family have also started an online fundraiser to support further search efforts, potentially including helicopter and drone companies as well as other methods. Donations will also go towards billboards and ads, and any money left over will be given to Coquitlam Search and Rescue.
One of the groups contacted by the family is the non-profit Please Bring Me Home, an organization made up of volunteers whose aim is to help people with missing loved ones.
Western Canada director Aimee Oliver said they currently have 22 active files in B.C. and the prairie provinces.
“Most of the time what we are asked to do is a little bit of investigation, but mainly we do searches,” Oliver said. “We have a plethora of specialists that assist us in our investigations...we also have partnerships with search and rescue, and canine units.”
Oliver said they can also help collect information to share with police, and have ways people can submit anonymous tips.
“People either are afraid to talk, or they think what they know doesn’t matter, “ she said. “And it may be the very most important missing piece, that small fragment.”
Oliver said some of the cases they are asked to help with go back decades, and “not knowing” is the hardest thing for the families they work with.
“That level of bereavement is something that I’ve never seen before, until doing this,” she said. “You just need a lot of empathy, kindness, and you can’t give up. That is our main thing. We are there from the beginning and we do not stop. Even if this takes years, it doesn’t matter.”
She also encouraged families of missing loved ones to seek help if they need it.
“Always reach out for help,” Oliver said. “Whether that’s to talk to friends or family, whether that’s to organizations like us, or to seek professional counselling. Nobody should have to suffer like that alone.”
CTV News requested an interview with Port Moody Police, but was told they would not be commenting Monday. They added while the investigation is active and ongoing, there are no further updates at this point.
Ibbott also thanked the community for the outpouring of support the family has received over the past six weeks.
“If Trina is listening to this, I hope she knows how much we love her and we cherish her, and we value her. She is an integral part of our lives,” she said. “We will not stop until we find her. We will not give up hope.”
Hunt is described as 5’4”, 120 pounds, and is believed to be wearing a black Northface jacket with a teal green collar, and pink and purple runners.
Anyone with information is asked to call Port Moody Police at 604-461-3456, or Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous at 1-800-222-8477.