January 10, 2015 - 7:35 PM
PENTICTON - Members of the Okanagan Nation Alliance held a Walk of Faith today, Jan. 10, bringing prayers and ceremony together in faith for the safe return of Roxanne Louie.
The Osoyoos Indian Band member went missing on Sunday, Jan. 4, from southeast Penticton. She was last seen leaving her mother-in-law’s home at about 1:30 a.m. that morning.
About 50 men, women and children walked from the Penticton Wal Mart parking lot to Skaha Beach where they took their prayers to the water in a spiritual gathering.
The Walk of Faith was a cultural event, Okanagan Nation Alliance spokesperson Laurie Wilson says.
“It’s something we do, to take our troubles to the waters. People prayed, drummed and sang and left their prayers in the waters,” she says.
Louie's absence is completely out of character, say family and friends.
“Her family is really worried about her. We are calling out for people who had any contact with her last week to contact the RCMP,” Wilson says.
Following the walk Saturday, members of the Alliance gathered to receive an update on the search for Louie.
“A search and rescue team was deployed by the RCMP today (Saturday)," Wilson says. "Nothing was found, but police and members of the First Nations continue to work on this.”
Wilson says the police were starting at the beginning of Louie’s disappearance and dedicating “a lot of manpower to this.”
“We are also planning a number of awareness raising activities in the next few days. We don’t want this issue to disappear,” Wilson says.
She points out Louie’s disappearance was "not a case of a woman partying,” as some media reports depicted.
“That marginalized the issue in our eyes. We have good reason to be worried, and we don’t want to be marginalized."
Wilson says the missing woman's family, friends and her community are calling on the people of Penticton and surrounding areas to help find her.
Louie is 26-years-old, 5'5" tall, weighs 117 lbs and has long brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing black pants, possibly with a stripe, a black winter coat with a fur trimmed hood. She was carrying a black duffel bag, and had her laptop and cell phone with her.
Anyone with information is asked to call the RCMP at 250-498-3422 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.
- This story was corrected at 8:31 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015 to correct an error about the location of Roxanne Louie's cell phone and computer.
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