June 07, 2016 - 11:42 AM
ENDERBY - Search teams will scour the Enderby area today for a missing First Nations woman not seen or heard from for months.
Roughly 50 people, including First Nations chiefs, Grand Chiefs and the family of missing 27-year-old Caitlin Brandy Potts gathered at the Splatsin Community Centre today, June 7, to launch the search. Teams will go door to door around the Enderby bridge, and also look along the river and nearby roads. Searchers were told to prepare themselves for the possibility of finding Caitlin’s body.
“Three months ago a beautiful young woman went missing,” Grand Chief Stewart Phillip said during a press conference before the search began. “Lots of questions, very few answers, and the family is hurting.”
Caitlin was last heard from Feb. 22 and was reported missing in early March. Police issued several missing person alerts for her, but when she didn’t turn up, they brought in the South East District Major Crimes Unit to investigate. Mounties believe it’s possible foul play was involved, but are not commenting on any details of the investigation, such as any suspects or people of interest.
Caitlin had been living in the Enderby area for about a year before she went missing. She has a child and told her friends and family she was on her way to Calgary around the time she went missing. No one has had any contact from her since.
“Someone saw something that day and can help us,” Esk’etemc Chief Charlene Belleau said.
Members of the RCMP attended the gathering and will lend a hand in the search, Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said. He wouldn’t release any specific details due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, but said Mounties are doing everything they can to solve the case.
"We suspect something has happened to Caitlin where we haven't ruled out foul play and we believe that she may be deceased," Moskaluk said.
Search teams will cover as much ground as possible today before gathering at the end of the day to debrief.
First Nations chiefs also called upon the RCMP and the federal government to do more about the crisis of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls across the country.
Caitlin is described as approximately 5'3", 150 lbs, with brown eyes and long black hair with blonde streaks. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Vernon RCMP at 250-545-7171 or anonymously via Crime Stoppers, at 1-888-222-8477.
Interview with RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk about the investigation into what happened to Caitlin Potts.