Jaqueline McDermott, 22, from Kitchener has been reported missing in B.C., and her family is putting out a plea across the country for help.
“We want to make sure that we are amplifying this message beyond just B.C. because I’m worried that she’s not there anymore,” said Nathalie St-Maurice, Jaqueline’s mother.
McDermott was last seen by her vehicle after attending a meditation retreat.
RCMP said her vehicle was found, but she was not in it or near it.
“A little while later, her vehicle appears to be broken down along Highway 97C between Merritt and Logan Lake,” said Cpl. Madonna Saunderson with media relations for RCMP.
St-Maurice said her daughter left in the spring of 2022 with the dream of exploring Canada while living in her van that she outfitted to be like a tiny home.
“She has a little bed in there, and she has a little kitchenette in there. Only thing she doesn’t have in there is a toilet,” said St-Maurice.
Her mother said she had plans to meet with friends in the coming days and weeks, but no one has heard from her.
She said it is not like her to cancel on her friends without notice.
In a news release, RCMP described McDermott as a Caucasian female, who is 5-foot-7 and 111 pounds. She has curly blond hair, a fair complexion with a medium build and a pierced nose.
Missing Poster for Jaqui McDermott (Submitted/Nathalie St-Maurice)
St-Maurice said she hasn’t been able to sleep much since she’s been missing. Her family is having a hard time making sense of it.
“Every time you close your eyes, you go down a rabbit hole that you don’t want to go down,” she said. “Basically disappeared without a trace. It’s unbelievable. It’s crazy.”
Her mother said McDermott is a free spirit and artist.
“She’s a nature lover, she’s a vegan, she’s an animal lover, she’s an animal rights activist,” said St-Maurice. “She is loved by so many people. The outpouring of support has been overwhelming.”
RCMP said the search will continue.
“The investigation will remain open and active until we find Jaqueline or find out what happened,” said Saunderson.
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