Search con­tin­ues

As search con­tin­ues for Cort­ney Lake, fam­ily says they need to say a proper good­bye

The Western Star - - Front Page - BY ROSIE MULLALEY SALTWIRE NET­WORK

They don’t have ac­cess to in­ves­ti­ga­tors’ ev­i­dence, but ev­ery day since Cort­ney Lake dis­ap­peared, fam­ily and friends have been try­ing to think like po­lice of­fi­cers. And a mur­derer.

They don’t have ac­cess to in­ves­ti­ga­tors’ ev­i­dence, but ev­ery day since Cort­ney Lake dis­ap­peared, fam­ily and friends have been try­ing to think like po­lice of­fi­cers.

And a mur­derer. “Cort­ney has been mur­dered. Just say­ing that shocks us,” Lake’s aunt, Glenda Power, told SaltWire Net­work Thurs­day.

“At times, we get very an­gry. We’re ob­vi­ously very sad and griev­ing, but our fo­cus right now and our en­ergy is on find­ing her.”

But that has proven to be a dif­fi­cult task.

Lake, a 24-year-old mother of a young son, van­ished six weeks ago, and was last seen in Mount Pearl the evening of June 7. Last month, the RNC re­leased im­ages from a ve­hi­cle’s dash-cam show­ing her get­ting into a black GMC pickup truck on Mich­ener Av­enue, near her home, at ex­actly 7:54 p.m.

The RNC an­nounced three weeks ago it is in­ves­ti­gat­ing Lake’s dis­ap­pear­ance as a homi­cide.

Yet, de­spite sev­eral tips, no one has been able to find her.

Fam­ily mem­bers, along with hun­dreds of vol­un­teers and sup­port­ers — pegged Cort­ney’s Search An­gels — have spent hours scour­ing ar­eas of the North­east Avalon — paths, dirt roads, fields, re­mote wooded ar­eas — in dozens of or­ga­nized searches, go­ing any­where they think her body could be.

“We try to think where a pickup truck could get,” Power said.

The po­lice have un­der­stand­ably been un­able to share ev­i­dence or in­for­ma­tion from tips, she said.

“It is a mur­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, af­ter all, and we com­pletely sup­port the in­ves­tiga­tive team.”

So, their searches have pri­mar­ily been based on in­for­ma­tion the RNC has re­leased pub­licly about where their in­ves­ti­ga­tors have searched, she said.

“(The RNC) talked about how they searched Gal­way, Mount Pearl, the Outer Ring Road and the Trans-Canada High­way, so that told us that the North­east Avalon is their fo­cus. That’s where we’ve fo­cused,” Power said.

The group’s Face­book page — Help Us Find Cort­ney, which has al­most 26,000 mem­bers — in­cludes a Google map with coloured pins in­di­cat­ing the ar­eas the group and po­lice have al­ready searched and the ar­eas left to cover.

“It’s been a great re­source for us,” Power said.

The next sched­uled search is set for Satur­day, with de­tails to be posted on the Face­book page.

When asked if there will ever come a point when they will call off the searches, Power replied, “We’ve not thought about it. We’re not stop­ping to­day and we’re not stop­ping to­mor­row.”

Power said the fam­ily is do­ing as well as can be ex­pected un­der the cir­cum­stances, but they’re des­per­ate to find her.

“The thought that Cort­ney is out there some­where, hav­ing been killed by some­one and just tossed away, that kills us.

“We want her home. We need to get her back to say good­bye in an ap­pro­pri­ate way.

As for who she thinks might be re­spon­si­ble for Lake’s mur­der, Power said the fam­ily is choos­ing not to spec­u­late or com­ment pub­licly on that.

How­ever, they do have a mes­sage to who­ever is re­spon­si­ble and are urg­ing them to sur­ren­der.

The group’s Face­book state­ment reads, “Just think of how much better this will go for you if you come to the po­lice now and tell where she is. They will find out. They will learn of your role in this, what­ever it is, and they are com­ing for you.

“By you go­ing to them first, you will show your will­ing­ness to help and this could work in your favour. Please. Do the right thing, for your­self and for us.”

Any­body with in­for­ma­tion on Lake’s dis­ap­pear­ance can con­tact the RNC at 729-8000 or anony­mously call Crime Stop­pers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

“We want her home. We need to get her back to say good­bye in an ap­pro­pri­ate way … Any­one who has lost a loved one knows that it’s hor­ri­ble. There’s a process of grief, but our fam­ily hasn’t been able to do that.”

Glenda Power, aunt

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