It's a family's worst nightmare. One day you see your loved one, and the next they have vanished without a trace. For the week of April 29th - May 5th, Saskatchewan is remembering Missing Persons Week.
"Missing persons is a very sensitive and if I could use the word, hot topic nowadays," shared Deputy Police Chief, Murray Cowan, "because with the missing persons and Indigenous women and the inquiries that are going on right now."
"It's certainly something that we take very seriously in the organization. All too often we will get reports of missing people and usually, it's someone who has run away and they turn up a little bit later. But the police service takes those things very seriously and we want to encourage people to report those kinds of things."
"The big thing is communication. Talk to your kids, talk to your family members and keep in touch with one another. Because all too often we find that's one of the issues. Someone leaves or goes out for the evening and they don't come home and family members don't know where they are or where they've gone and eventually they may show up a little bit later on."
"Every situation is different when it comes to missing persons. When the report comes in, the officers will gather as much information as they can and then they'll determine where they should go with it and at what stage should they become heavily involved. We'll put it on the CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre) system showing that people are reported missing or if anybody comes in contact with them within the police organization, to let them know they need to contact their family."
"Whenever we receive those reports, it's a matter of determining the circumstances surrounding that particular situation."
However, there are cases where that loved one does not return home. As was the case when Courtney Struble left after spending time with friends and walked home only to never make it. That was on July 9, 2004. She has not been found. If anyone has any information about her whereabouts or the whereabouts of anyone who is missing, they are urged to contact their local law enforcement. More information on Missing Persons Week can be found on the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police website.