Chelsea Poorman’s sisters say Shaughnessy residents taking down posters in the area where her remains were discovered is incredibly disrespectful to the grieving family.
“I was really upset because that’s really hurtful,” Paige Kiernan told Daily Hive. “Our family is already grieving the loss of our sister, you know? It makes it even harder, causing unnecessary pain.”
Kiernan and Diamond Poorman are busy putting more posters up this week in the hopes someone who saw her will come forward.
Poorman went missing in September 2020 and was last seen on Granville Street downtown. Her remains were discovered outside a vacant Shaughnessy home last month. Investigators believe she died the night she vanished or shortly after.
Police have said they don’t suspect foul play, but Kiernan said there’s no way her sister could have made it from downtown to the Shaughnessy backyard, where she was found on her own.
Poorman had just moved to Vancouver two months before she disappeared, and Kiernan said she didn’t know the city that well. What’s more, she told her family she met someone shortly before going missing — and Kiernan wonders if that person, or someone else, took advantage of her.
“How is that not suspicious?” Kiernan said. “It just doesn’t make any sense to me. How does somebody end up in a backyard 30 blocks away when she has mobility issues? She can’t walk there.”
Now, Poorman’s family and a slew of volunteers are putting up posters in Shaughnessy in an effort to map out her last movements.
But some Shaughnessy residents have been removing the posters. When one woman was asked about it, she replied, “This ruins the poles.”
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Realtor Randy Vogel, who was also spotted taking down the posters, was fired from his job with Macdonald Realty Tuesday over the behaviour. He was also suspended from his posts with the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.
Lorelei Williams, founder of Butterflies in Spirit, works on many Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls cases. She’s been supporting Poorman’s family since she went missing in 2020.
“I was so disgusted,” she said of seeing posters being taken down. “There were more than those caught on video … there was one guy telling us we should all be in jail.”
Williams is of two minds about Vogel’s firing. On the one hand, she’s glad action was taken. On the other, she says it won’t help find answers about what happened to Poorman.
“We usually don’t get these kinds of responses. Usually nothing happens,” she said. “But … now there’s an angry white man. That’s not what we wanted … We don’t want more hate.”
For now, Poorman’s family hopes more information comes to light now that her case is getting more attention. Kiernan remembers her as courageous, sweet, and someone who could persevere no matter what.
“I always looked up to her because no matter what, she’d keep trying and would stay positive,” she said. “She would always be making people laugh … I’m so grateful for everything she’s taught me.”