'We just want her home': Family renews calls for help as search for missing Pimicikamak woman expands outside Winnipeg

UPDATE: Winnipeg Police Service said McKay has safely located.

A family is renewing calls for information to find a woman from northern Manitoba who’s been missing for nearly three weeks.

Jessie McKay, 22, of Pimicikamak Cree Nation was last seen in Winnipeg’s North End on the evening of Sunday, Sep. 5.

Her family on Friday made a renewed plea for information that could help them find her.

“We just want her home,” said Phyllis Ross, Jessie’s mother. “I just want my daughter to come home safe.”

“There has to be somebody that knows where she is or what she’s doing.”

Ross made the emotional plea for information about her daughter’s whereabouts at the Bear Clan Patrol’s Selkirk Avenue headquarters in Winnipeg.

Family members said the evening she was last seen McKay was dropped off by her father at a birthday party in the area of Redwood Avenue and Main Street. She hasn’t had contact with family since then.

Christopher Ross, Jessie’s uncle, said the family has received many tips and said searchers, including Jessie’s father, have been scouring the city as well as Steinbach and Powerview, but they haven’t been able to find his niece.

“So there’s a lot of people that have come forward and hopefully more people will come to help,” he said.

Searchers have been meeting at the Bear Clan headquarters but those who want to take part are first asked to contact the group before showing up to help.

Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, the director of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls liaison unit for Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), said she hopes the public will share any information they may have.

“So that Jessie McKay may be brought home safely to her family,” Anderson-Pyrz said. “Any tips the public may have or any types of support that the public can provide to Jessie’s family.”

“This is a very difficult journey for them to walk when their loved one is missing and we’re all praying it’s a good outcome – that she’s found safely.”

Anderson-Pyrz said it is difficult for the family financially to stay in the city. They are from Pimicikamak, 530 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

“We’re also doing a public call out for any type of financial resources that can be provided to the family as they continue the search for Jessie,” Anderson-Pyrz said. “As days pass on the family’s getting even more concerned."

Donnie McKay, a Pimicikamak Cree Nation councillor, said the community has been there for the family.

“Our community is very helpful in raising funds,” Coun. McKay said. “They raise money, the community, to give to the family here to continue to stay where they are and to keep the search going from their side.”

“Our community’s very helpful in that respect all the time. They will give their last $5 if need be to an emergency such as a missing person, such as missing Jessie here.”

The Winnipeg Police Service reported Jessie as a missing person Sep. 17. Police said she was last seen wearing a multicoloured hoodie — one that family members say was purple, white and light green — blue jeans and black Nike sneakers.

Police said McKay’s four-foot-eleven and weighs around 160 pounds. Officers said she has brown eyes and dyed red hair.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Winnipeg Police Service’s missing persons unit at 204-986-6250 or the Bear Clan at 204-794-3568.