YORKTON - The Washington State Patrol and Saskatchewan RCMP are collaborating on efforts to locate Mekayla Bali.
May 25, two truck/trailer rigs featuring Mekayla Bali were unveiled as part of the Homeward Bound program in Blaine, Washington.
In partnership with Kam-Way Transportation, Washington State Patrol’s Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit places age-advanced photos on semi-trailers that travel across North America in hopes of generating leads to help find missing children.
16-year-old Mekayla was last seen on April 12, 2016 in Yorkton.
“Approximately 800 tips from all over the world have been reported to police in relation to our investigation into Mekayla’s disappearance, including tips and information reported from Washington,” shares Corporal Robert Head of the Saskatchewan RCMP Major Crimes Unit, who attended the event in Washington. “These tips have been followed up on by investigators. Mekayla has not been found and is still considered missing.”
One goal of investigators is to try and keep a missing persons name in news reports or the public eye in the hopes someone with information will call in a tip or sighting of them. All information is important.
“Partnerships in missing persons cases occur regularly with Border States and Canada, but it’s not an automatic process. It requires leadership, outreach and communications to make this happen. We are proud of our close partnership with the RCMP, share their steadfast resolve in serving the public, and are hopeful that this particularly unique international collaboration can help find Mekayla,” explained Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste.
“We thank Kam-Way Transportation, the Washington State Patrol and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children for considering Mekayla Bali for the Homeward Bound program and collaborating on this important initiative,” says Cpl. Head, “All it takes is one key piece of information that will help push this investigation forward so we can bring Mekayla home to her family.”
Information about Homeward Bound: The Homeward Bound program was started in 2005 by the late Trooper Renee Padgett. Trooper Padgett tragically died in the line of duty in 2018 after exposure to toxic chemicals while conducting towing yard investigations years earlier. The program has featured 32 missing children and youth to date, 3 of whom have since been recovered. While it is unknown what role the Homeward Bound Program played in their recovery, any and all increased exposure of missing persons cases is important.