The family of a woman who went missing on Vancouver Island nearly 30 years has ago has launched a new campaign for support to find her, in collaboration with local Mounties.
Lindsey Nicholls disappeared under “mysterious circumstances” on Aug. 2, 1993, according to Comox Valley RCMP. She was just 14 years old at the time, last seen walking down Royston Road wearing blue jeans, a khaki top and white canvas shoes.
As the 30-year anniversary of her disappearance approaches, Judy Peterson, her mother, is putting up billboards in high-visibility parts of the Comox Valley soliciting the public for tips and information.
“Someone out there knows something and I’m hoping this exposure will convince them to come forward with any piece of information that could help us,” Peterson said in a recent news release.
“We all love her so much and the not knowing is so difficult.”
Peterson has advocated relentlessly for the families of missing people in the years since her daughter’s death, her efforts culminating in implementation of Lindsey’s Law in 2018.
That law expanded Canada’s national DNA databank to include the DNA of missing persons across the country.
In the news release, Comox Valley RCMP said Peterson’s efforts played a “pivotal role” in identifying unidentified remains and resolving numerous missing persons cases.
Nicholls had been missing for five years when Peterson was first told she could not enter her daughter’s DNA into existing national databases for crime scenes and convicted offenders because of privacy concerns.
The national DNA databank was introduced in 2000, built from two separate databases: The convicted offender index, and the crime scene index. The first database is made up of samples obtained from criminals convicted of crimes ranging from murder to human trafficking, and the second database is built using DNA profiles found through crime scene investigations.
When legislation creating the databases was proposed in 1998, it included collecting DNA from missing persons and unidentified human remains, but those databases became hurdles to passing the law, Peterson told The Canadian Press in 2018 as Lindsey’s Law finally took effect.
B.C. already had a repository of DNA from missing persons. Peterson had provided Nicholls’, but the BC Coroners Service confirmed there were no matches to its unidentified bodies at the time.
Comox Valley RCMP, meanwhile, said their search for Nicholls continues.
“This case has never been forgotten,” said Cpl. Matt Holst in the release.
“Tips continue to come in, and each one is diligently followed up. The passage of three decades has not diminished our determination to find answers and provide closure to Lindsey’s family and friends who have endured an agonizing wait for resolution.”
Anyone with information on Nicholls’ disappearance or current whereabouts is asked to call the detachment at 250-338-1321.
— with files from The Canadian Press
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