Missing woman's family frustrated over lack of shared information

Paul Walton, Daily News
Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Since Lisa Marie Young disappeared on the Canada Day weekend of 2002 the 21-year-old Nanaimo woman -- presumably killed -- has become much more than a victim.

Her parents, Joanne and Don Young, from within weeks of realizing their daughter had met with a tragic end began a very public and sustained campaign for the last six years to find out what happened to her. They have had websites, posters and interviews with media. Nanaimo-born songstress Allison Crowe, now living in Newfoundland, wrote a song about Young.

"I need people not to forget about Lisa Marie," said Joanne Young at the Nanaimo waterfront, near to where she and Don would bring Lisa and her brothers, Brian, 25, and Donny, 23 when they were children.

While the official word from the Nanaimo RCMP is that Young is missing, since they cannot prove otherwise, very shortly after her disappearance investigators said they believe she met with foul play.

Young was last seen leaving a downtown Nanaimo nightclub in the early hours of June 30, a Sunday, after going out for the Saturday night. She was in a maroon Jaguar with a group of people leaving the bar and after that the trail goes cold or turns to rumour.

Young was to start a new job on July 2, and her father was also to going help her move into a new place starting on the Sunday. She never showed up for either. Within days police eliminated the possibility that she had run off, which would have been uncharacteristic of Young.

Police conducted a number of searches, interviews were done with people on or close to the street who might know something and to this day nothing has emerged to lead to an arrest.

"Basically the police have said Lisa Marie's file is still open. They can't share anything else with me because they say it may jeopardize the investigation," said Joanne Young.

While she understands that the officers working on the case have good reasons to remain tight-lipped, Joanne Young remains frustrated.

"The only time we hear from them is when we call them," she said.

Sgt. Doug Hogg, with the Nanaimo RCMP serious crimes unit, said the investigation into Young's disappearance remains "open and very active" but could say little more.

"We haven't shelved it and nor will we," said Hogg.

Various theories have evolved about what happened to Young, and Joanne and Don Young say that they always come back to the man who was driving the Jaguar. They say he has since left Vancouver Island.

Knowing only that it was likely their daughter was killed -- not by who, why, where or how -- the stress continues for Joanne and Don Young.

"We have a lot of problems sleeping, both of us," said Don Young. "The pain is always there."

Joanne and Don Young - Glenn Olsen Nanaimo Daily News

Joanne and Don Young still looking for answers six years after their daughter Lisa Marie went missing.                         Photograph by : Glenn Olsen/Daily News

That stress nearly led them to separate and Joanne thinks it also led to a bout of ill health recently that left her in hospital for several weeks. While birthdays and Christmas are difficult, the approach of the Canada Day long weekend is among the most difficult for them.

"This one's probably the worst, June 30," said Don Young. "We like to get away on that weekend."

Over the years they've consulted with psychics, and will again, and they've also had calls from people with grim rumours who think they're being helpful.

"We haven't had any crazies for a long time, but we've had quite a few," said Don Young.

But the memories will never fade.

"Everywhere we go, past schools and skating rinks, it's hard," said Joanne Young.

Don Young said they are caught in a world where not knowing their daughter's fate and then one day finding out are tragic.

"It's kind of disheartening," he said. "You don't hear anything for a long time and it makes you crazy. Then you hear something and it makes you crazy too."



The Daily News (Nanaimo) 2008

Help Find Lisa

Lisa's story and Lisa's Song