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Human trafficking: Kamloops mom still waits for her daughter’s return

Jessica Edith Louise Foster went missing on March 28, 2006 from North Las Vegas, Nevada. A forensic sketch of Jessie Foster as she may look now.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Diana Trepkov
June 12, 2021 - 8:46 AM

For long-term residents of Kamloops the name Jessie Foster is a familiar one. Jessie was raised in the community, alongside her three sisters, by her mother and stepfather.

Jessie's mom, Glendene Grant, describes the family as regular and happy. They were a family who baked, coloured and played softball together. In 2005, when Jesse was 20 years old, a tragic turn of events began to unfold.

“Jessie was lured to the U.S. by someone offering her a free trip to Florida,” Grant said. “She was excited to go, though I was very skeptical about anything free. She went, came back and all was good. Until she was asked to go to New York. I was very worried, but she went again. This time prostitution was brought up when the person who took her said he was broke and had no money to get them back to Canada, though Jessie did not want anything to do with it. Somehow she was convinced to go to Las Vegas, even after what happened the night before.”

On May 13, 2005, Jessie arrived in Las Vegas. It was exactly two weeks before her 21st birthday.

“She wanted to stay to celebrate there,” Grant said. “Time kept going by and the excuses kept coming. There was a car accident and now insurance stuff to do. She met Peter Todd and was falling for him. She moved in with Peter Todd, then got engaged to him. During this time, she was beaten, her jaw was broken, she was hospitalized, forced to work at an escort agency and arrested for prostitution in Las Vegas.”

Grant says Jessie came home at Christmastime but was somehow forced to leave at 2 p.m. on Christmas day to go back. The family kept in touch for a few months, then all contact with her stopped.

“She was planning on a visit from her sister and then they were coming back to Canada together to go to their stepsister’s wedding reception in Calgary in April, 2006. They talked on March 28th, but Jessie was never heard from again.”

Grant has lived in Kamloops for most of her life. She is a wife, mother and proud grandmother. She never stops searching for her missing daughter or advocating for awareness and change when it comes to human trafficking. She founded Mothers Against Trafficking Humans on April 18, 2010.

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Glendene Grant

READ MORE: Kamloops mom keeps daughter Jessie Foster's memory alive after 15 years

"Human trafficking comes in many forms such as prostitution, labour, domestic servitude, debt bondage, organ harvesting and child labour," Grant said. "It happens everywhere. It affects everyone. Different places do different things in regards to governing and managing.  There have been a lot of changes to policing and non-profit organizations. Plus there are many grassroots organizations. And they are all helping victims and survivors when possible. People have to stand up and fight against human trafficking. We have to hold our governments accountable for inadequate laws and slack punishment."

Jessie has been missing for 15 years. Grant still waits for her daughter's return, holding onto hope and encouraging others to never give up on their loved ones.

"I suppose what I have used to express gratitude is that I was able to have Jessie in my life constantly for 21 years, and another 15 missing," Grant said. "I would not have given up the 21 wonderful years in order to not endure the 15 painful ones. I encourage everyone to never give up on their loved ones.  They may survive this horrific crime and if so, will need all the love and support they can get when they return. And never let the police tell you something is not true if you know or strongly suspect it is. They do not know your loved ones like you do."

If you have any information about her whereabouts contact the North Las Vegas Police Department at 1-702-633-1773 or the Kamloops RCMP detachment at 1-250-828-3293.

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