Missing and murdered men, women and children spur annual walk in Cowichan

Josephine Joe, Helen Joe, Elizabeth Louie, and Donna Louie survey posters of their missing relatives as they prepare for the annual Walk for Missing and Murdered Men, Women and Children. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)Josephine Joe, Helen Joe, Elizabeth Louie, and Donna Louie survey posters of their missing relatives as they prepare for the annual Walk for Missing and Murdered Men, Women and Children. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)
Josephine Joe, Helen Joe, Elizabeth Louie, and Donna Louie survey posters of their missing relatives as they prepare for the annual Walk for Missing and Murdered Men, Women and Children. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)Josephine Joe, Helen Joe, Elizabeth Louie, and Donna Louie survey posters of their missing relatives as they prepare for the annual Walk for Missing and Murdered Men, Women and Children. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)
Ian Henry has been missing since 2015, when he was 26 years oldIan Henry has been missing since 2015, when he was 26 years old
Desmond Peter has been missing since 2007Desmond Peter has been missing since 2007
Everett Jones has been missing since 2016Everett Jones has been missing since 2016
Police continue to investigate the 2015 murder of Delores BrownPolice continue to investigate the 2015 murder of Delores Brown

Patsy Jones has spent several months organizing the second annual Walk for Missing and Murdered Men, Women and Children.

It’s a huge task, with a long list of details to attend to, hoops to negotiate and volunteers to recruit. For Jones, it’s important work and it’s personal.

“My sister, Cathy Joe, was murdered in 1977,” explains Jones, who says the brutal death of her eldest sibling was devastating for her family. “It’s one of the big reasons I’m doing this.

“She was beaten, raped and her body was found in a ditch beside Vimy Road by a hiker.”

Jones, the youngest of six children born to Evelyne and Benedict Joe, was just a child at the time of Cathy’s murder but she knows the details of what has turned into a longstanding cold case with few clues.

“The RCMP came to our home and said Cathy was deceased. They took only my mother to see her. We tried to tell them she shouldn’t go alone, she wasn’t healthy, but they didn’t care,” Jones says.

The loss of 27-year-old Cathy took a painful toll on her mother.

“She died of a broken heart,” Jones believes.

Over the years, Jones says, investigators have had little contact with the family and even a CrimeStoppers plea failed to produce any leads. There are rumours but no one has ever come forward with information that would lead police to the person who killed Cathy.

Sadly, other families in the Cowichan region have experienced the heartbreak of losing a loved one over the years. In some cases, Aboriginal men and women have been murdered and their bodies recovered. In other cases, people have vanished and their families are desperate for answers.

No one has a definitive number of missing and murdered men and women cases over the years but some of the recent ones include:

• Desmond Peter, a 14-year-old who went missing in 2007. He was last seen near the old Malaspina College on Cowichan Way near the Trans-Canada Highway.

• Tyeshia Jones, 18, was murdered by William Elliott on Jan. 22, 2011. Her body was found after six days in the woods behind the Shaker Church on Cowichan Tribes land.

• Delores (Deedee) Brown, a 19-year-old woman from Penelakut, was reported missing in late July of 2015. Her body was discovered three weeks later on a Norway Island beach. Police continue to investigate her murder.

• Ian Henry, was last seen in August of 2015. He was 26 when he disappeared.

• Everett Jones, 47, was last seen leaving his home in the Club Road area in Duncan on the morning of Feb. 10, 2016.

For Patsy Jones, the 2nd Annual Walk for Missing and Murdered Men, Women and Children that will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9 helps to keep the memory of her sister alive and hopefully the march will help uncover some clues into deaths and missing persons cases.

“They found her but didn’t find who took her. I’m hoping someone will come forward with information.”

Saturday’s walk will take participants through the streets of Duncan. Last year’s march drew more than 1,000 supporters and Jones expects the number to be even larger this year.

Leaders from First Nations communities on the Island have been invited as have political leaders including MP Alistair MacGregor, MLAs Sonia Furstenau and Doug Routley and municipal officials.

“This march is being sponsored by Halalt Tribe and I thank Chief Bert Thomas for his 100 per cent support,” Jones says.

“It has been a lot of work to bring leadership together under one roof, but it’s been great.”

Jones says businesses like Tim Hortons, who will be supplying coffee and Timbits for the marchers, and Chances casino have also stepped up to help.

Tsow-Tun-Le Lum, an organization that delivers culturally based mental health and addictions services will be participating in the march.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. at Quwustun Cultural Centre with an opening prayer and the start of the walk at 11 a.m.

Jones says she is hoping not only First Nations people but the broader community will learn more about the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous people, suggesting the true numbers are larger than people realize.

“There’s lots,” she says solemnly.

Just Posted

Cowichan District Hospital. (File photo)
Guest column: The story of a surgery in Cowichan

In homage to the Cowichan District Hospital and its surgical team

Motorcyclists in the hundreds depart from Duncan on a South Island ride in honour of the Kamloops 215. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Ride for the Kamloops 215 takes over Trans-Canada Highway

“My family was in residential schools for three generations. On the day… Continue reading

(The winning Lady of the Lake candidates demonstrate their talents during the annual Opportunity Night, Wednesday, June 8. Mary Batyi, left, does a Highland Dance routine, accompanied by a bagpiper; Jorden Matson, centre, shows people her artwork while telling the crowd what her inspirations are; Amber Bell tells people about competitive swimming, before providing a virtual demonstration.” (Tyler Clarke/Lake Cowichan Gazette, June 15, 2011)
Flashback: Water meters, ‘Porky’, and Lady of the Lake

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Not securing your load could cost you big

An object of any sort falling off of the vehicle in front of you is definitely a surprise

Jared Popma recently streamed a live concert from the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre. (Ashley Daniel Foot photo)
21-year-old jazz artist talks favourite tunes and joys of music theory

Jared Popma recently streamed a concert from the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Most Read