Memorial service held for missing Inuk woman

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Family and friends gathered Saturday to honour Mary Papatsie, an Inuk woman who has been missing since 2017.

The closed-door service was held at the Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre.

Tommy Papatsie is Mary’s older brother. He describes the past two years without his sister as “chaos.” He says, “We were numb, we were dumbfounded we didn’t know what to do. We were lost. It was hard we were waiting for answers.”

Tracey Sarazin is Mary’s aunt. She helped organized the memorial. “As any family does, you wish more could be done. I don’t know what could be done... but it’s just tough when someone is missing and you don’t have answers.”  

Mary Papatsie is originally from Nunavut but had been living in Ottawa for 15 years. She moved to Vanier, living in shelters and on the street.

Missing Person Posters of Mary Papatsie have been sent as far north as Nunavut where Mary was from.  Ottawa Police Major Crime has taken over the investigation because of what they call "suspicious" elements.

Deputy Chief Uday Jaswal says the investigation is active and ongoing. “If I had a family member missing, I don’t think there would be anything that would be enough until that family member was home.”

Jaswal says, “We want to reassure (the family) that we are doing everything we can to find Mary and we are appealing for the public's assistance.”

Loved ones raised enough money to bring relatives from Nunavut to Ottawa for the service. The family also received financial support from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

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