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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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Riverbank search for clues fruitless; [FINAL Edition] | Print |  E-mail

By Rosetta Cannatta The Kamloops Daily News. The Windsor Star. Windsor, Ont.: Jan 5, 1995. pg. D.7
(Copyright The Windsor Star)

KAMLOOPS, B.C. -- As an excavator pushed dirt back into the frozen river after searching in vain Wednesday for human remains, it couldn't bury the hopes of a man still looking for his sister.

"If we had found something here it would have put an end to it. Now there's still hope she's out there somewhere," said James McLaughlin, the brother of missing woman Sherri McLaughlin.

"You don't know. That's the whole thing."

Sherri was 20 when she went missing early Sept. 19, 1993.

The search along the bank of the North Thompson River in Kamloops, B.C., took place after the site was identified by search and rescue expert Rex Fitz-Gerald.

Fitz-Gerald, who is credited with finding the body of murdered Kelowna, B.C., youngster Mindy Tran last October after a psychic told police they should look in a park near the young girl's home, used a remote sensing device to pinpoint a spot in the river where he believed they would find some remains of the missing woman.

Fitz-Gerald brought the hand-held unit, which some say is like a divining rod, to Kamloops in November and spent two days going over the entire city with it before he found an area on the river bank.

Working with the RCMP in November, searchers dug in a small area near Wednesday's dig, but found nothing.

Fitz-Gerald's device looks like two silver rods. He holds one in each hand and walks over an area letting the rods swing on their own. Working like a free-swinging compass needle, the device points toward an area from each location to which he takes it.

HE USED IT THROUGHOUT the day to guide the earth-mover in the right direction. But by 1:05 p.m., the hole had grown to about 10 metres round and a depth of about two metres when it hit the blue clay of the river bottom.

Fitz-Gerald said there was no point in going deeper because nothing could be buried beneath the blue clay and there was no reason to make the hole wider because he wasn't getting signals from anywhere outside it.

"Basically, whatever was there was missed and it was small," Fitz-Gerald said.

"She's in there somewhere, some portion of her."

He remained adamant there was something in the hole, but all the water and ice that was gathering as they dug made it impossible to search the dirt completely.

After 40 years and some 500 searches, this is one of only six cases he's worked on that haven't yet been solved. He said he feels for the family in such cases.

I would think it's extremely hard on them. I think they're hoping we find something so they can lay her to rest. Otherwise for the rest of their lives they'll be wondering," he said.

RCMP Cpl. Wayne Zaksauskas said it's also frustrating for police.

"They'd like to know one way or another, have some direction to go in this investigation," he said.

Once the search was concluded, he added: "It's disappointing. We wanted to find something."

Police have so far received about 430 tips on the case, but none has given officers any conclusive information about what happened to the missing woman.

AS FOR MCLAUGHLIN, he intends to continue his efforts to find his sister, including another appeal to the U.S. television series Unsolved Mysteries.

The show originally rejected the story because of a lack of information and he hopes this latest dig will spur their interest.


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