Over 40 people attended the April meeting of the New Horizon’s event on Thursday, April 11th at the Maryhill Heritage Park Community Centre. Guest speaker was Maureen Trask who is an activist for families of missing loved ones. Her topic was “Living Without Knowing”.
Maureen’s son Daniel disappeared on November 23, 2011. She has become a tireless vocal advocate for families of missing people, a role she began before her son’s remains were discovered in the Temagami back country on May 24, 2015, and has continued tirelessly to do so.
She walked the group through their journey in their search for answers. She learned early on that there are no resources.
She has helped to shape the proposed law which would give police access to personal banking, cellphone and other records when a person goes missing, without evidence of a crime — getting around privacy barriers that created repeated obstacles in her son’s case. Changes that could help solve cases much sooner. Supporters believe it can help police solve missing persons cases, from missing and murdered Aboriginal women to wandering dementia patients, more quickly.
There is no grieving process when a person is missing because there is no closure. Families need support and Maureen found there was none.
The Missing Persons Act states that – A missing person is when that person’s whereabouts are unknown and has not been in contact with people they would normally be in contact with. Also if you fear for that person ‘s safety because of the circumstances surrounding their disappearance or any prescribed considerations. She also dispelled many myths people may have on missing persons. You can report someone missing immediately – a day delayed is another day missing. Anyone can report a person missing and you can make a report from your nearest police station. All unsolved missing person investigations remain active until there is an outcome. Not every event surrounding a missing person is the same. Even if someone missing had been found once before, you can report that same person missing no matter what has occurred in the past.
The next and last meeting will be on Thursday, May 9th at the Maryhill Heritage Park Community Centre from 10 – 11:30 a.m. Admission is $2.00. Guest speaker will be Ruth Abernathy, sculptor and author. She will speak on “Life and Bronze”.