"We can't just sit here": Ontario mom coming to BC to search for missing daughter

Oct 5 2022, 8:11 pm

Jaqueline McDermott, 22, of Kitchener, Ontario, has been reported missing since September 30 and her family is flying to Merrit, BC, to help with the search.

McDermott was travelling out west in a camper van. Nathalie St-Maurice, Jaqueline’s mother, tells Daily Hive she was recently tree-planting in Alberta and volunteering on an organic farm in Lytton before arriving in Merritt.

McDermott was last spotted on Highway 97C between Merritt and Logan Lake after attending a meditation retreat. Her van with all her belongings was later found by RCMP but there was no sign of McDermott.

“She just disappeared without a trace,” says St-Maurice, adding that it’s unusual for her daughter to not check in with family and friends.

“We want to make sure that we are amplifying this message as much as we can because I’m worried that she’s not [in Merrit] anymore,” St-Maurice says.

She and Jaqueline’s father booked one-way tickets to BC to help the RCMP in the search. They fly out Thursday morning.

St-Maurice explains when her daughter was first reported missing, she was overcome by shock and paralysis. “Now that the search is going into a week, we can’t just sit here anymore. We need to go out and be there,” she says.

During what’s arguably one of the toughest moments of her life, St-Maurice remains hopeful. “The RCMP says there’s a good chance she’s still alive.”

While there are no new leads at this time, St-Maurice says the RCMP is in daily contact with the family. There are officers on horseback, dogs, and even drones searching surrounding areas daily. There’s also been a massive number of trained volunteers helping with the search.

St-Maurice stresses that no detail is too small, so if anyone has information they should come forward.

“Please contact the Merritt RCMP if you have any information. You can make a difference,” she says. “Someone knows something.”

Anyone who has seen Jaqueline, or knows where she may be, is urged to contact Merritt RCMP at 250-378-4262.

Natalia BuiaNatalia Buia

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