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Twenty years later, search for answers in Courtney Struble's disappearance continues

The RCMP, who is treating her disappearance as a homicide, believes her body is located in or around Estevan.
courtney-struble-20-years
Courtney Struble vanished on July 9, 2004.

ESTEVAN - Another year has passed since Courtney Struble vanished without a trace. And while the Saskatchewan RCMP's Historical Case Unit continues to search for her and follow up on tips from the public, the case remains open and unsolved.

July 9 marked the 20-year anniversary of her disappearance. Courtney, who was 13 years old at the time, had been watching movies with friends at a veterinary clinic on the outskirts of the city. When the time came for her to go home at about 11:30 p.m., she declined a ride and opted to walk. The RCMP believes she made it safely back to Estevan.

Her friends and family haven't seen her since. There have been tips and reported sightings of Courtney, but she has not been located, and the investigation and searches have been unable to find her.

The RCMP, who is treating her disappearance as a homicide, believes her body is located in or around Estevan.

In an email to the Mercury and SaskToday, the RCMP says its Saskatchewan Historical Case Unit investigates all long-term missing persons cases, regardless of whether foul play is suspected.

"The Saskatchewan RCMP Historical Case Unit continue to work with the Estevan Police Service to investigate Courtney's disappearance, conducting interviews and following up on all credible information," the RCMP said.

"As we mark the 20th anniversary of Courtney’s disappearance, the Saskatchewan RCMP would like to encourage anyone out there who may have information regarding Courtney’s whereabouts that it is never too late to come forward with it. If you know something, say something. No matter how much time has passed or how small the information may seem, it could be the piece that puts it all together.

"We do not give up on missing people and the Historical Case Unit will continue to investigate any new information received until Courtney is located."

The Estevan Police Service handled the case initially, and the Historical Case Unit took over the investigation a few years later. Courtney's disappearance was initially treated as a runaway but eventually became a homicide.

There has been no banking activity and her Saskatchewan Health Card has not been used, which the RCMP has previously said is not consistent with a girl who ran away from home or chose not to have contact with her family.

At the time of her disappearance, Courtney was 5'3" tall and weighed approximately 125 pounds. She had light brown hair, hazel eyes, a birthmark on the nape of her neck and a 1 1/2-inch scar on her left shin.

There have been efforts to try to locate Courtney. In 2014, to mark the 10-year anniversary of her disappearance, the RCMP held a search for her, with aerial drones and ground-penetrating radar. A team of four Saskatchewan RCMP officers searched for her along the Souris River.

Then in 2022, the day after the anniversary of Courtney's disappearance, her image and information were featured on digital billboards and police social media channels as part of Project HOME (Help Our Missing Emerge), a province-wide, multi-jurisdictional campaign that aimed to bring attention to long-term missing person cases in Saskatchewan. Seven billboards were mounted in five communities.

During Missing Persons Week earlier this year, Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers included Courtney's photo and profile among its social media posts. Her profile can also be found on their website, and other law enforcement and missing persons' sites.

Locally, there is a Facebook page, Help us Find Courtney Janelle Struble, where members have shared their memories about Courtney, and have discussed the case and other missing persons cases in Saskatchewan and beyond.

If you have any information, please contact your local police service. You can also submit information completely anonymously to Crime Stoppers via their website at saskcrimestoppers.com or by calling 1-800-222-8477.