Concerned community bands together in search for missing Langley, B.C., mother
Nearly one week after she was reported missing, there’s still no sign of Naomi Onotera.
She was last seen by her husband on the evening of Aug. 28, when she left their Langley, B.C., home near 200th Street and 50th Avenue.
It is unclear where Onotera was headed at that time. The next day, her mother reported her missing.
As of Friday, the 40-year-old’s whereabouts remain unknown.
“It’s not likely of her to have that behaviour to just leave,” said Kylie Hannan, a friend of Onotera.
Onotera has an 18-month-old daughter, and was getting set to go back to work at Surrey’s Katzie Elementary School, where she previously taught kindergarten.
“She’s a loving mother, a wonderful member of the community, and a wonderful member of the school,” said Hannan.
Since Onotera was reported missing, friends and concerned strangers have been putting up posters throughout Langley and the surrounding areas. They’re also banding together on social media to co-ordinate ground searches and keep a record of the neighbourhoods, parks and trails they cover. Hannan said it’s an outpouring of support Onotera’s family is thankful for.
“They’re just encouraging everyone to continue. Please continue sharing on social media, and please search in person.”
Meanwhile, Mounties said Onotera’s case is now being handled by the Langley RCMP Serious Crimes Unit. The team's name may suggest evidence of an element of criminality in the case, but the RCMP says there doesn’t appear to be any sign of foul play.
In an email to CTV News, the detachment said it’s more a matter of course.
Because her disappearance is "so out of character," and because the woman has been missing for several days, her case is now being investigated by members who are dedicated to it.
This is instead of the case staying with general duty officers, who are responding to other calls during the day, and are off for four days at a time.
Still, her case is considered high risk, as all missing persons are, the RCMP said.
Investigators are looking to speak to anyone in the area with surveillance or dashboard cameras. Specifically, they're looking for video captured between 6 p.m. on Aug. 28 and 7 p.m. on Aug. 29.
Anyone with footage or more information is asked to leave a message with their contact information on the Langley RCMP tip line at 604-532-3398.
The RCMP said it is believed Onotera was wearing black "stretchy pants that had a slight flair at the bottom" at the time of her disappearance, as well as a black T-shirt.
She's been described as 5'9" and about 170 pounds, with long brown hair and brown eyes.