THE FAMILY of a 19-year-old woman who went missing here in Oct. 1995 is holding a vigil Oct. 17 to mark the 20th anniversary of her disappearance.
Lana Derrick, a college student from Houston, B.C. here visiting relatives, was last seen outside of a convenience store in Thornhill the early morning hours of Oct. 7, 1995.
An extensive search by police along with family and friends subsequently joining in along Hwy16 failed to find any trace of her in the first days after she was reported missing.
Derrick became one of the earliest missing aboriginal women to be added to the Highway of Tears list.
In early 1996 police issued two composite drawings of two men in hopes of finding them and the car in which they were traveling.
That followed a hypnosis session with a woman who was reported as being the last person to see Derrick.
The woman, who was sitting in a car outside the Thornhill Copperside store, said she saw Derrick enter the store, then leave and get into a car which had two men in the front seat. They then drove away.
The vigil begins at 7 p.m. behind the Copperside Petro-Can in Thornhill, near the location where she was last seen.
Family members of Derrick have for years been involved in vigils and walks intended to highlight the numbers of missing and murdered aboriginal women.
“Lana is still an important member of our family and we’d like to request anyone that has any information on the disappearance of Lana to please contact the RCMP,” said family member Wanda Good who is organizing the vigil.
She said a public inquiry is needed to examine the issue of murdered and missing aboriginal women.
“The government, up to now, has treated the issue as a matter of law enforcement. However, First Nations across the country say there are deeper issues and systemic issues that must be addressed,” Good said.