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Deputy Chief: Important to keep missing persons’ memories alive

There are 133 reported missing persons in Saskatchewan
Randy Huisman2
Saskatoon Police Service Deputy Chief Randy Huisman speaks during Sunday's event that commemorated the first year anniversary of Megan Gallagher's disappearance.

SASKATOON — Being a former investigator for Missing Task Force and homicide, Saskatoon Police Service Deputy Chief Randy Huisman has worked with families of missing persons. He knows why Sunday’s walk organized to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Megan Gallagher is important.

“I cannot stress how important events like this are for family and the community, ensuring missing loved ones are never forgotten. These events are equally important for the advancement of investigations, as those who may know something may realize the importance of coming forward with their story,” said Huisman.

“This week brings an opportunity to acknowledge the grief the people are feeling for their missing loved ones and to raise awareness to all the missing. This year’s Missing Persons Week also corresponds with the first anniversary of the disappearance of Megan Gallagher.”

He said that there’s been a total of 133 missing persons reported in the province for six months or longer and for each missing person an estimated 12 other people suffer due to the uncertainty of not knowing what happened to their loved ones.

“Families, like the Gallaghers, carry the burden of not knowing what happened to their daughter and their sister. They've watched as our investigators have released surveillance footage, video and voice recording, and held out hope that it leads to finding and bringing Megan home,” added Huisman.

He thanked the Gallaghers for helping organize the walk, which also kicked off the Saskatchewan Missing Persons Week, and their tireless work to keep the memory of Megan alive.

“If we look at today on how many people have come, it shows that our community is growing and growing together.”

Huisman said the investigation of Megan’s disappearance remains an open case.

“It is an active investigation. Tips from the public continue to be followed up and, unfortunately, through the investigation to date, we know that Megan was the victim of homicide. What can we do? Our focus has always been, and continues to be, bring Megan home.”

“We know there are people out there who have information on what happened to Megan. We implore them to consider how they would feel if their loved one was missing. We encourage them to share what they know, we can bring closure to Megan’s family, and justice for Megan.”

He added that taking part in walks, vigils, and other events that raise awareness of missing persons cases are ways to show your support.

He said that the SPS building on 25th Street will be lit up, starting at dusk, by bright orange lights in support of the Gallagher family, to commemorate all missing persons, and to honour the children who died in residential schools. The lights will be turned on every night until Sept. 30, Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.