Niece of Kamloops man missing for 40 years says police efforts should have came sooner - InfoNews

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Niece of Kamloops man missing for 40 years says police efforts should have came sooner

Lawrence Wellington Allard was 35 years old when he was reported missing by his mother in September 1977.
April 26, 2018 - 6:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - Local RCMP have brought new light to a 40-year-old missing First Nations man but his family is wondering what took so long.

Lawrence Wellington Allard vanished mysteriously from his mother's home on the North Shore in 1975, says Allard’s niece, Linda Edgington. She's been working with local RCMP from her Florida home to bring closure to herself and her family, but she isn’t happy with how long it’s taken police to publicize her uncle’s case.

In a news release sent out this week by Kamloops RCMP, Edgington says she is offering a private reward for any new leads or tips about her uncle’s disappearance that took place in the 1970s.

But Edgington believes the help she is finally receiving from police has come years too late.

“What (police did) in one day could have been done 40 years ago,” she says, referring to the media release about her missing uncle.

Edgington says she’s received several calls and questions from news outlets asking her for more information. But she argues this attention should have been received when Allard initially disappeared.

“I’m pissed. I'm the type of person that tells it like it is, and for any person that goes missing, something needs to be out there to get results,” she says.

Kamloops RCMP was offered an opportunity to respond to their concerns, but calls were directed to regular spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie who is away. 

Allard's only daughter, Penny Jones, who still lives in Kamloops, became aware her father's case was being looked at again through her family. Although she never met her dad, Jones says she hopes police can solve her father's case to bring closure to the rest of her family.

"I didn't grow up with him so I don't have any emotional attachment, but I hope for my cousins, since they knew him, they can get some closure out of this,” Jones says.

Edgington says she's had ongoing communication with Kamloops RCMP for more than a decade about her uncle’s case. It was when Edgington's mother moved into her Florida home with her several years ago, that she pushed to contact police.

“I ended up taking my mom from Toronto to Miami with me, there was no one else that could take care of her in Canada,” she says, adding that her mother had a mild form of dementia but would mention her brother all the time.

Edgington says police had contacted her while her mother was still alive asking for a blood sample after they found bones believed to be her uncle’s. At the time her mother was in the hospital and before the results came back saying it wasn’t a match — she died.

Edgington says her drive to get answers is for her mother who never found out what happened to her brother. She wants to clear up the false information around her uncle’s disappearance.

According to police, Allard’s mother reported him missing in 1977— two years after he was last seen, which Edgington says is not true.

“They are saying my grandmother reported him missing two years after the fact,” Edgington says. “For any mother to report their child missing two years later... just no."

Edgington was in her early teens when she found out her uncle had disappeared from his home on Tamarac Avenue. Her family had been visiting Allard and her grandmother in Kamloops, the summer before we went missing in 1975, she recalls.

After their visit, Edgington says her family returned home to Toronto, Ontario when her mother received a call that Allard was missing.

“I remember standing next to my mother who was on the phone with my grandmother,” Edgington says. “She goes, ‘You’re saying Larry is missing?’ I could only hear what my mom was saying.”

Edgington recalls her mother telling her that two strange men entered the house on Tamarac Avenue where Allard was living, grabbed him and threw Allard in a black car and drove off.

Kamloops RCMP say there have been no tips, leads or witnesses that have come forward with information regarding Allard’s disappearance.

Edgington says her uncle didn’t deserve whatever happened to him and there is very little information to go off of.

“He was a happy-go-lucky person, he always had a smile on his face,” she says, hoping one day she will get answers.

“I have my mother’s ashes and I would like my Uncle Larry’s remains,” says Edgington. “One day I am going to take them to B.C. and put them to rest with my grandmother."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 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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