Family hoping for help from public in case of missing Kamloops woman - InfoNews

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Family hoping for help from public in case of missing Kamloops woman

Thelma Vaughan, 62, is currently missing from the Kamloops area. Police say her family hasn't heard from her in a few days. Her car was found on East Shuswap Road near the Lafarge Bridge on Feb. 7.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/RCMP handout
February 14, 2018 - 8:00 PM

'WE'RE RELYING ON HUMANITY RIGHT NOW'

KAMLOOPS - It's been roughly one week since Thelma Vaughan's family learned she had gone missing, after her car was found abandoned in east Kamloops, and they're hoping more information will clear up questions surrounding her disappearance.

Vaughan's daughter and son-in-law, Natasha and Frank Linteris, drove from Alberta to Kamloops when police told them they'd located her mother's car last week.

Police said Vaughan's vehicle was located by police on East Shuswap Road near the Lafarge Bridge on Feb. 7, after a resident called to report that the vehicle had been there for a few days.

Extensive searches of the area and the nearby river have been conducted by Kamloops Search and Rescue and Kamloops RCMP since the discovery of the vehicle, but so far there aren't many clues to go on.

The Linterises are hoping that anyone who saw Vaughan or her vehicle that night will come forward, no matter how insignificant they think their tip is.

Thanks to some surveillance footage from Vaughan's apartment building, Frank and Natasha say there has been a rough timeline established of when Vaughan left her North Shore home to head to the Lafarge area.

The Linterises say Vaughan left her home at approximately 5:50 p.m. on Feb. 3 to grab a bite to eat through a fast food drive-thru. She returned home shortly after but was seen again leaving her apartment at approximately 8:37 p.m., according to the Linterises.

"We’re trying to get the police or whoever can to take a second look at her phone, a more in-depth look at her phone to see if there was an email, if there was a text that’s been erased or something like that, to prompt her to leave her house at that time, because it’s just abnormal to leave at 8:30 at night," Frank says.

Her supper that she had gotten through the drive-thru that evening had also not been eaten, the Linterises say. It's not known what, if anything, prompted Vaughan to leave her home that night, or why she was out at the Lafarge area.

Police originally said they believed Vaughan may have been cross-country skiing, as that area of town is used by cross-country skiers. They were hoping to speak with anyone who had hiked or skied with Vaughan in that area in the past.

Photo of Thelma Vaughan's car, located in the Lafarge area on East Shuswap Road.
Photo of Thelma Vaughan's car, located in the Lafarge area on East Shuswap Road.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ RCMP

Natasha says so far no leads have come from that theory, and all of her skiing equipment was found inside of her apartment. She adds that her vehicle was parked in an odd place considering the area.

"It was also an usual place to be parked because it was just pulled off to the side of the road, when there’s a pull out just before that (spot) and just after that (spot)," Natasha says. "It’s 8:30 at night, in an area where there are fields, so you could cross-country ski, but there are not actually cross country ski trails... (She) could have been doing it, but it’s not likely at 8:30 at night."

She adds that her mother has a knee injury and recently it has been rare for her to go out skiing alone.

The Linterises are hoping that residents and business owners along Shuswap Road review their surveillance footage from the evening of Feb. 3 or morning of Feb. 4 to see if there are any hints of where Vaughan could have been, or what she was doing.

"We’re really just counting on people witnessing, and forwarding information," Natasha says. "I guess we’re relying on humanity right now."

The Linterises say it's frustrating not having any answers as to where Vaughan had gone, or why she was in that area that evening, but are grateful for the extensive searches that have been conducted in the area, including usage of the RCMP helicopter and the Kamloops Search and Rescue drone team.

A boat search has not been done of the river in that area, but Frank says he's hoping someone, even a member of the public, would be willing to help get a boat on the water to further their search efforts.

The family is willing to try everything to get answers into Vaughan's disappearance. They've spoken to a psychic, walked the area themselves with metal detectors, and have put up missing person posters.

"We don’t normally believe in psychics but we’re like 'hey what the heck?'" Frank says. "Nothing's been found. We’re trying everything."

"We’re really just hoping for new information right now," Natasha adds. "There’s nothing else to go forward with right now. We need something else."

Vaughan's sister, Sarah Craft, adds that the vehicle was found in a high-traffic area, so even if someone like a semi-truck driver who's rarely in town saw Vaughan or the vehicle in the area that evening, she's hoping they come forward no matter how small they think the detail may be.

If you have any information that could help strengthen a timeline of when Vaughan went missing, or you saw her or her vehicle that evening or the following morning, you're asked to contact Kamloops Rural RCMP at 250-314-1800. 

You can also contact the rural detachment if you have dashcam or surveillance footage in the area.

The Linterises have set up a Facebook page to help in the search for Vaughan. You can go here for more information.

Image Credit: FACEBOOK

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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