UPDATE: Family asks for help in search for Loretta Saunders, missing for over a week

The Canadian Press
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HALIFAX — The sister of a missing university student in Halifax made an emotional appeal Friday for help in finding the young Inuit woman, saying her older sibling would do exactly the same thing if she disappeared.

Delilah Terriak asked anyone who may have seen Loretta Saunders or her blue car to contact police, adding that she and dozens of supporters planned to plaster the city with posters bearing pictures of the missing 26-year-old.

“She is so strong and that’s what’s keeping me going through this — knowing that she wouldn’t want us wasting time crying,” she said at a native friendship centre in Halifax.

“If I were missing, she would be doing the exact same thing, probably even more. ... She is my world, she’s my everything.”

Terriak, who flew to Halifax from British Columbia to search for Saunders, is also appealing to the public for financial help to bring her five brothers and parents from Labrador to help locate the Saint Mary’s University student who was last seen on the morning of Feb. 13 in the Cowie Hill Road area of the city.

Terriak says her sister is set to graduate from university in May and is doing her thesis on missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Saunders’s car was found earlier this week near Windsor, Ont., and Halifax police issued arrest warrants for two people who were due in an Ontario court Friday.

Ontario Provincial Police said Thursday that they had arrested Blake Leggette, 25, and Victoria Henneberry, 28, on charges of possession of stolen goods, fraud and outstanding warrants.

A provincial court document filed by Halifax police alleges the pair, who live at the same apartment on Cowie Hill Road in the city, stole the 2000 Toyota Celica that belongs to Saunders.

Terriak said her family needs to be together in Halifax as the search continues.

“My family is having a difficult time processing what’s going on and having a hard time finding answers,” she said in a prepared statement released at the news conference.

Annie Clair, 43, met Saunders just before she disappeared and was due to be interviewed by her as part of her thesis. She said Saunders wanted to talk to her about native traditions, the language and aboriginal women.

“She wanted to learn because she didn’t have that part of her growing up,” she said. “She is an amazing person, she has a good heart and she was really interested in knowing the traditional ways.”

Clair, who lives in Elsipogtog, N.B., said she was shocked to hear that Saunders had disappeared and urged people to help in the search, saying there is added urgency because Saunders is three months pregnant.

“It’s very important that we do find her,” she said at the centre, where the scent of burning sweet grass wafted around people seated at a table and putting together posters of Saunders.

Const. Pierre Bourdages of Halifax police has said Leggette and Henneberry know Saunders, but he declined to provide further details on the nature of their relationship.

Police have said they don’t know exactly how the car ended up in Ontario, but they are asking anyone who may have seen Saunders or her car, with a Newfoundland and Labrador licence plate of HCP 543, to come forward.

Police say Saunders is five-foot-seven and about 120 pounds with light brown straight hair.

 

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••••

(Earlier story)

Halifax — The sister of a missing university student in Halifax made a public appeal today for help as she described Loretta Saunders as the strongest woman she knows.

Delilah Terriak says Saunders’ strength is keeping her going. She explained in a statement that her family from Labrador needs financial support to come to Halifax to join the search for her sister.

Saunders’ car was found earlier this week near Windsor, Ont., and Halifax police have arrest warrants for two people as they investigate the disappearance of the 26-year-old woman, a St. Mary’s University student who was last seen Feb. 13.

Ontario Provincial Police say they have arrested 25-year-old Blake Leggette and 28-year-old Victoria Henneberry on charges of possession of stolen goods and fraud.

Halifax police say they have obtained arrest warrants for the pair in relation to a stolen vehicle.

Terriak says her sister, who is Inuk, is set to graduate from university in May and is doing her thesis on missing and murdered aboriginal women.

“My family is having a difficult time processing what’s going on and having a hard time finding answers,” she said in the statement released at a news conference in Halifax.

Fundraising has begun to bring Saunders’ five brothers and parents to Halifax to join the search for her.

“We need to be together when we find out what’s going on, when we hear some good news,” said Terriak.

She said Saunders is loving and kind-hearted.

“She’s the strongest woman I know,” she added. “That’s what’s keeping me going and strong. Knowing that she’s so tough, her ability to persevere is unmatched. She is an incredible woman.”

Const. Pierre Bourdages of Halifax police has said Leggette and Henneberry know Saunders, but he declined to provide further details on the nature of their relationship.

Police have said they don’t know exactly how the car ended up in Ontario, but they are asking anyone who may have seen Saunders or her car, a Toyota Celica with a Newfoundland and Labrador licence plate of HCP 543, to come forward.

Police say Saunders is five-foot-seven and about 120 pounds with light brown straight hair.

A Facebook group created to help find Saunders can be accessed by clicking HERE.

 •••

(Earlier story Feb. 21)

 

Man and woman charged with stealing missing woman's car

A man and woman have been arrested in Ontario and charged with stealing a vehicle owed by a Newfoundland native, who has been reported missing in Nova Scotia since Feb. 13.

Loretta Saunders, 26, was reported missing to police Monday by her family. She was last seen in the Cowie Hill Road area in Halifax on the morning of Feb. 13.

On Wednesday, with the assistance of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Essex County detachment, Saunders’ car was located in Harrow, Ont.

Te latest news release from the Halifax Regional Police says 25-year-old Blake Leggette and 28-year-old Victoria Henneberry were arrested without incident. They appeared in court in Windsor, Ont. Thursday on outstanding warrants and to face charges of possession of stolen goods and fraud-related charges. They will return to court in Windsor this morning for a bail hearing.

Forensic investigators began searching Saunders’ Halifax residence Thursday in search of anything that may help with the investigation.

Investigators are asking anyone who may have seen Saunders or her car, a blue Toyota Celica, since Feb. 13 to contact police. Saunders is described as an Inuk woman, five feet, seven inches tall, 120 lbs. with light brown straight hair. Her vehicle bears Newfoundland and Labrador plate HCP 543 and has a loud muffler.

Anyone with information about this missing person case is asked to contact Halifax Regional Police at (902) 490-5020. Anonymous tips can be sent to Crime Stoppers by calling toll-free 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submitting a secure web tip at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca or texting a tip - Tip 202 + your message to 274637.

••••

(Earlier story - Feb. 20, 2014)

 

Halifax police to seek return of pair in case of missing university student

Halifax police say they will travel to Ontario with an arrest warrant as they investigate the disappearance of a St. Mary’s University student.

Police say 26-year-old Loretta Saunders hasn’t been seen in a week.

Her car was discovered Tuesday in Harrow, south of Windsor.

Police in Ontario have arrested 25-year-old Blake Leggette and 28-year-old Victoria Henneberry.

They appeared in a Windsor court Wednesday where they faced charges of possession of stolen goods and fraud.

They are to return to court today for a bail hearing.

Halifax police say have obtained arrest warrants for Leggette and Henneberry in relation to a stolen vehicle and plan to have them returned to Nova Scotia to face the charges.

Geographic location: Halifax, Harrow, Ontario Windsor Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • Concerned Newf
    February 23, 2014 - 01:11

    I hope everyone from Halifax to Harrow, On is printing off posters and posting them in their area. The media coverage is great but the family and friends need to reach as many people along this route as possible. There are lots of posters floating around facebook people can print and post. Hopefully those who live and work along this route will take a few moments to help this poor family out.

  • Susan macvane
    February 22, 2014 - 15:27

    So many people see the name of a car,but can not really picture it in there heads. I think if they know what they are looking for,it might help.I know I would be looking at every car that I seen,if it looks like a picture I saw.We tend to notice things more,when we know what it looks like.Even though the car was found,people might have seen it,or her in a car,if they know what the car looks like.Good luck finding her,I shared this in PEI

  • Judith Haggerty
    February 22, 2014 - 08:38

    Has a coloured picture of the car been publicized? If that is the key, it may help as many people can't picture a make of a car in their minds. Very sorry for the family.