Mother That Went Missing More Than 50 Years Ago Is Found Living With New Family.
A mother who disappeared from her home in Surrey, British Columbia, more than 50 years ago, has been found alive and living with a new family in the Yukon territories.
After Lucy Johnson disappeared in September 1961 her husband, Marvin, fell under suspicion, and police dug up the back yard to look for her.
The case went cold until last month, when Mrs Johnson's daughter, Linda Evans, put adverts in newspapers around Yukon, near where her mother had lived as a child.
Not long after, Mrs Evans received the call she had waited for her whole life. A woman had seen the advert and said she not only thought she knew the woman, but believed it was also her mother.
'I’m still walking around in shock,' Mrs Davies told the Surrey Leader. I thought she was dead because there’s been no contact. Nothing.'
The woman told her Mrs Johnson, now 77, was alive and well. Mrs Evans, whose brother died when he was a teenager, also discovered she had three half brothers and a half sister.
'I have a lot of questions,' Mrs Evans told NBC News. 'And they’re all ‘Whys?'
She was about seven when her mother disappeared. She had last been seen by a neighbor near their Surrey home, in September 1961.
Because she was not reported missing by her husband until May 1965, suspicion quickly fell on Mr Johnson.
Police considered bringing charges against him, but they did not have enough evidence, according to the Surrey Leader. DNA samples were also taken from the family in an effort to match them with unidentified remains.
Mr Johnson, who was unemployed when his wife went missing, later remarried, but he was never able to help police find his wife and died in the late 1990s. Mrs Evans added that he did not like to talk about her either.
He had met his wife, who was of First Nation descent and from Skagway, Alaska, while working as a first mate on a tug boat. They married in Washington in 1954 and moved to Surrey a couple of years later.
As her daughter went on to have children and grandchildren of her own, her desire to know what happened to her mother increased.
After the police re-opened the case last month, Mrs Evans decided to try placing adverts in towns her mother may have had a connection with.
'[She] went above and beyond to promote and try to generate tips all over B.C., actually somehow connected with a step-sister who she did not know she had at the time,' Corporal Bert Paquet, of Surrey Mounted Police, said.
'We received a phone call from a woman in the Yukon who called and claimed that she had seen the picture of the missing person in the free newspapers and said the missing person we were looking for was actually her mother,' he told CBC News. 'The stars aligned, the timing was perfect.'
Despite being abandoned, Mrs Evans says she does not hold a grudge against her mother and is keen to see her again and tell her about her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
'I just hope I can be part of her life,' she said. 'I’ll just give her a big hug and hope the words come easy.'
Although Mrs Johnson had been a cold case for more than 50 years, her case was not the oldest missing persons investigation by Surrey police.
They are also following up leads about the disappearance of Humphrey 'Albert' Wilkinson, who was 30 when he went missing in January 1957.