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Sherri McLaughlin went missing from Kamloops BC on September 19th 1993 while riding here bicycle to a friends place.
Her bike and backpack were found on the side of the road. Foul play was suspected since the beginning of the search.

After all these years we have not been able to find the valuable peace of information that will help locate her. Somebody somewhere knows the whereabouts of Sherri McLaughlin. Please help us find Sherri.

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14 years later . . .; Family still upset by lack of information over Sherri McLaughlin's disappearance; [Final Edition] | Print |  E-mail

Robert Koopmans. Kamloops Daily News. Kamloops, B.C.: Sep 19, 2007. pg. A.1.FR
(Copyright 2007 The Daily News (Kamloops))


It's been more than two years since Jackie White last spoke with police about the disappearance of her daughter Sherri McLaughlin.
It's not that she doesn't have questions. In fact, every passing year brings more. It's just that speaking with RCMP brings little comfort, she said.

Holding a portrait of her daughter, White said Tuesday not knowing what happened has been the most difficult. But just as troubling for White and Sherri's brother James McLaughlin has been the lack of regular communication from the RCMP about progress -- or lack of it -- in the case.

Fourteen years ago today, Sherri disappeared.

The 18-year-old girl was last seen by friends headed on her bicycle to visit her boyfriend. Her abandoned bike was found, its wheel twisted beyond use, on the side of Parkcrest Drive on Sept. 19, 1993.

Despite an intensive investigation, no answers to her whereabouts ever surfaced.

Occasionally, the family gets a call from an officer who's been given the task of reviewing the file. The investigator asks some questions or makes comments suggesting he has a new angle to explore. Their hope is raised but inevitably dashed, after time passes with no further calls.

"I need someone to come and say this is what they have done, this is where the case is," White said. "Can I not know a little bit about what was going on? They must know more."

James said he believes police have done what they can with the investigation, but he also feels frustrated by the lack of ongoing contact with investigators.
Even though the case has gone cold, he wishes officers would be more open about what has -- or has not -- happened during the investigation and give the family the full picture.

"I realize (police) have a job to do, they're busy, but this is part of their job," he said.

Police, however, have been frustrated as well.

Staff Sgt. Garry Kerr, the head of the Kamloops RCMP's serious crimes section, called the McLaughlin case "an investigator's worst nightmare."
He was one of scores of police officers who put in countless hours in September 1993, looking for evidence, tips or leads that would bring them to the missing girl.

"The investigation came to a point when there was no new information. I hate to say it. She didn't disappear into thin air, but it was like working a case where that happened," he said.

Kerr said many people were investigated in 1993 and all were ruled out as suspects. No forensic evidence has ever been recovered.

"There has never been a viable suspect," he said. "Despite the thousands and thousands of man hours that went into the thing ... there's been nothing. We have zip.

"There was a tremendous amount of work put into that file. I don't know what more could have been done. It's an agonizing thing."

About five years ago, the Kamloops RCMP handed the file to the RCMP's unsolved homicide unit in Vancouver, he said, with the hope the specialized section would have more time to devote to the case.

"Somebody out there knows something," he said.

That possibility continues to drive Sherri's family. White said she hopes some fresh publicity might achieve what so far has proved unachievable, that new public awareness will finally make someone come forward with a crucial piece of information.

That hope gives White the motivation to regularly visit her daughter's memorial on
Parkcrest Avenue
, to tidy the surroundings and place fresh flowers.

"I put them there in the hope someone will pay attention," she said. "Just call. Even if they think (information) is insignificant. Just call."

James said the approach and passage of the anniversary of Sherri's disappearance is always a difficult time for the family.
Sherri's son, Stephen, is 15 years old now and has been raised by Jackie. He probably suffers the least, James said, because he has no memory of the events of that tragic September. But he sees the painful impact on all around him.

"It's stayed fresh, it's not faded," James said.

He's in the process now of building a website devoted to his sister, with the hope people who once knew her will contribute pictures and stories.

"Something that we can enjoy 14 years later," he said.

 

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