This month marks 19 years since Lisa Marie Young disappeared and police on Vancouver Island say they are following new leads in the investigation.
Young, an Indigenous woman, disappeared in Nanaimo in the early-morning hours on June 30, 2002, in a case police consider a homicide. Investigators gave an update at a press conference at the RCMP detachment in Nanaimo on Saturday, June 26.
Many investigators have worked on the file over the 19 years and Cpl. Markus Muntener, current co-lead investigator, said new information has come to light. Muntener said there is information he can’t share, as it is an active investigation, but police have “completed numerous searches in the last year.”
“That’s based on new information coming in and based on historic information and those searches were extensive and detailed and we have more of those searches planned in the future,” Muntener said.
Police have employed modern technology to assist with the investigation including the use of a police dog and ground-penetrating radar.
“When you’re dealing with potential [search] areas that are large, that’s the kind of technique that you have to use to try and narrow things down just to manage the resources that you have,” Muntener said.
He and co-lead investigator Const. Hayley Pinfold said investigators have been aided by people coming forward who previously weren’t comfortable talking to police.
“It took great courage for those people to come forward and provide us statements and provide information that is credible and important for the investigation and a lot of those people may not have been comfortable doing that early on in this investigation,” said Muntener.
There may be other people out there in the same situation and police hope they will come forward as well.
“It may just a small part of the puzzle, it’s still important information that we need those people to come forward and provide statements to us,” Muntener said.
Cyndy Hall, organizer of a march that followed the press conference and one of the Lisa Marie Young Facebook page operators, described Young as friendly.
“She was just one of those people, that their mood is always the same,” said Hall. “I just remember her always being happy, dressing up, loved music. Just a typical young adult.”
Young’s family continues to wait to learn of her fate, including Carol Frank, Young’s aunt.
“We just ask, as Lisa’s family, if there’s anyone out there that knows something, just to help us bring Lisa home,” said Frank. “If you could, please come forward and bring peace to Lisa and our family.”
Anyone looking to provide information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.