'No closure': Family frustrated, confused over Chilliwack senior's disappearance
Published Thursday, July 25, 2019 2:17PM PDT Last Updated Thursday, July 25, 2019 3:36PM PDT
Ethel 'Grace' Baranyk is shown in an image provided by the Chilliwack RCMP.
Grace Baranyk had a love of flea markets and a wonderful laugh, family members say.
But the disappearance of the senior, who has been missing for nearly two weeks, has family members feeling frustrated.
"As unfortunate as it is to have a relative pass away, there's some closure. There's no closure to this situation," said Dick Richards, her nephew, from his home in Alberta. "I just don't know how far an 86-year-old can go."
Baranyk, who has dementia, was last seen Saturday, July 13 by a caregiver around 10:30 a.m. in the 45000 block of Lenora Crescent.
Since then, there haven't been any spotting or sightings.
"We're asking everyone to search their backyards and search every nook and cranny," said Cpl. Mike Rail with Chilliwack RCMP.
Rail couldn't give details on a search area, saying only that it's become incredibly large.
While the family may be frustrated over the nature of her disappearance, Richards says they're stunned by the support from the community.
"We've got businesses volunteering to copy flyers, businesses distributing flyers. That part has been really reassuring."
Baranyk was an avid flea market attendee, and would set up a table at one in Chilliwack every week.
Richards says the flea market community was the first group to take up the search, setting up a command post at a local church.
He also credits her neighbours for joining the search early on.
"There were a whole bunch of strangers working together, which became a community within a community," said Richards. "That positive focus defines Grace."
Baranyk moved to the Chilliwack area in the 1980s from Alberta, after retiring as a teacher, with her husband.
She is is one of nine children, with Richards' father and a sister being her only siblings left.
"This has been quite difficult for my dad," said Richards. "Being the youngest of nine and having two sisters left, he was hoping for a positive outcome."
But search and rescue teams and the volunteer groups remain looking, and police say they're continuing the search.