A supporter shared this image of the vigil on Facebook. (Mavis Dennis photo)
Mourners wore red Sunday to mark the suspicious death of another Indigenous woman – this time in Smithers, B.C.
Family members and supporters gathered at a vigil in the northern community to remember Jessica Patrick of nearby Lake Babine Nation.
She was 18 and the mother of a young daughter.
RCMP confirm human remains were found and they were awaiting a positive identification.
“That’s all I’ve been told,” said RCMP media spokesperson Cpl. Madonna Saunderson in Prince George, B.C.
“I’m waiting to hear back from (the) major crime (unit).”
Saunderson said the RCMP North District Major Crime Unit was working with Smithers RCMP and the B.C. Coroners Service on the case.
Patrick was last seen Aug. 21 in Smithers, which is about 1,100 kilometres north of Vancouver.
The community is located along Highway 16, which has been dubbed the Highway of Tears, for a string of murders and disappearances of mainly Indigenous women between Prince George and Prince Rupert.
More than 20 First Nations border the route.
Smithers’ Mayor Taylor Bachrach took part in the vigil that local media reported drew about 300 people.
“My heart goes out to those who knew and loved her,” Bachrach said on Facebook.
He posted that Patrick’s body was found near the community Saturday.
Another media report said her family was involved in searching for her and the discovery of her body.
Smithers was the site of a community hearing by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in September 2017.
The inquiry is wrapping up its evidence gathering and due to issue a final report to the federal government by April 30, 2019, on the factors contributing to ongoing violence against Indigenous women and girls.
It’s something Bachrach acknowledged.
“Let’s come together as a community, support those who are grieving and recommit ourselves to ensuring safety for all women and girls,” he wrote on Facebook.