This photo of Cindy Simpson FaceTiming with her daughter Ashley on April 27, 2016 at 11:37 a.m. is the last photo Cindy has of them together. Ashley went missing from her home on Yankee Flats Road near Silver Creek on that day. (Photo contributed)

This photo of Cindy Simpson FaceTiming with her daughter Ashley on April 27, 2016 at 11:37 a.m. is the last photo Cindy has of them together. Ashley went missing from her home on Yankee Flats Road near Silver Creek on that day. (Photo contributed)

Possible evidence regarding woman missing in Shuswap doesn’t change family’s anguish

Ashley Simpson’s mother frustrated by potential evidence that may have been missed in 2016

Wait and see, followed by wait and see.

In the wake of news that evidence regarding her missing daughter may have been overlooked, Cindy Simpson said she’ll be doing what she has done since she went missing.

“Right now it’s going to be a wait and see; that’s all the last four years has been. Just waiting every day.”

Ashley Simpson, the vivacious and well-loved daughter of Cindy and John Simpson, lived on Yankee Flats Road near Silver Creek. She was last seen on April 27, 2016.

Simpson, who lives with her family in Ontario, received information about her daughter recently from a woman who wishes to remain anonymous due to concerns for her safety.

Simpson learned that in May 2016, after Ashley went missing, the woman had driven up a logging road past the mill in Canoe. At the top, she saw women’s clothing, CDs and a piece of mail with Ashley’s name on it. She said she reported it to the RCMP but she doesn’t think anything was done because the belongings were still there a month later.

The woman said weeks after she reported it she saw a helicopter flying around in the area, but she wasn’t sure if it was related to her report.

Read more: 2017 – Ashley Simpson’s father returns to find her

Read more: 2019 – Ashley Simpson’s mom pleads for help on third anniversary of her disappearance

Simpson said she understands a lot more about police process than she did before.

She understands mistakes were made when she first reported Ashley was missing, but in terms of potential evidence, she would like to see a specific protocol in place when such items are found.

Simpson wishes that the woman had contacted her family when she saw the belongings, or had taken a photo, but she also isn’t sure what she would have done in the same situation – whether she would have gone beyond reporting it to the RCMP.

“If in fact it is Ashley’s stuff, it would be very frustrating that four years later it’s come too late,” she said, pointing to all the anguish her family might have been saved.

On behalf of the RCMP, Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said, given that the investigation into Ashley Simpson’s disappearance remains active and ongoing, police aren’t able to comment on, or provide specific information regarding, evidence or tips.

“I can say more generally that when a tip is received in relation to any investigation, the tip is evaluated by investigators to determine what/if any investigative follow-up will be required. All tips are assessed on a case to case basis and there may be occasions when the tip may not assist in advancing the investigation further, as the information provided by the tipster has previously been verified or discounted, through other means.”

He urged anyone who finds physical evidence, regardless of whether it is linked to an ongoing investigation, to not touch it but to report it to local police.

Simpson is very appreciative of the public’s support and assistance, but agreed evidence must not be disturbed.

“That’s my biggest thing, if they go up there, if they see something, call the RCMP, take a picture, try not to disturb anything.”

She urged anyone who knows anything about any of the missing woman, to call the tip line or call an RCMP detachment. “This poor girl (who saw possible evidence) is afraid now and I understand. The more people that do it, the less they’ll be afraid. People have to start speaking up. It’s not only there, it’s all over. People are afraid to call.”

Read more: 2017 – Missing woman smart, courageous, lovable

Read more: 2018 – Mother of missing Shuswap woman holds out hope she’ll be found

Read more: 2016 – Enderby RCMP ask for help in finding woman

Read more: 2017 – Traci Genereaux remembered at Vernon vigil

In the North Okanagan-Shuswap, Ashley was one of four women who went missing over the course of 19 months between February 2016 and September 2017.

Caitlyn Potts, Deanna Wertz and Nicole Bell are also missing.

Potts, who lived in Enderby, was last seen on Feb. 21, 2016. July 19, 2016 was the last time Wertz was seen. Bell was last seen on Sept. 2, 2017 in Sicamous. The remains of 18-year-old Traci Genereaux from Vernon were found in October 2017 on the family farm of Curtis Sagmoen in Silver Creek during a police search. No charges have been laid in her death.

“There are so many families in my position,” Simpson says of missing women in Canada. “Some have been there 20 years or longer…”

Both she and John have had health struggles recently, with recovery taking longer than normal because of stress, she thinks.

“People don’t really understand the stress on you.”

“I wonder if they carry guilt,” she said of the perpetrators. “They can’t carry guilt… They’re all man enough to do it, but cowards when they come to admitting it.”

In their annual tradition, Simpson and her family celebrated Ashley’s birthday – what would have been her 37th – on Nov. 15.

They ate birthday cake and released balloons.

“It was a windstorm… My one granddaughter said, ‘the balloons are going to get to heaven tonight.’”


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Missing woman

 

Ashley Simpson, missing since April 2016. (Photo contributed)

Ashley Simpson, missing since April 2016. (Photo contributed)

Just Posted

The BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) handed out fines to two anglers on Shuswap Lake who were both casting more than one line, in violation of provincial regulations, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (COS photo)
Conservation officers snag Shuswap anglers for unlawful fishing

Two anglers were given $150 fines for casting two lines at once, against provincial regulations

The Kalamalka Lake water source is being turned off next week starting on Monday, May 17, 2021 for some operational repairs. (Black Press Media file photo)
Kalamalka Lake water source turning off for repairs starting Monday

Greater Vernon Water expects the repairs to last one week

Vernon Search and Rescue's Legacy vessel is returning to Okanagan Lake for boating season, the society said Friday, May 14, 2021. (VSAR photo)
Vernon Search and Rescue vessel returns to Okanagan Lake

VSAR’s Legacy is back with a fresh coat of paint and some other upgrades

Construction is a booming industry around town, including work at the 27th Street lot next to Co-op, where a car wash and Triple O’s are being built. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Construction hammers ahead in Vernon

Building permits and values on pace to beat 2020

(Bob Fleming photo)
The Regional District of North Okanagan is in talks with Electoral Area B and C neighbourhoods regarding the potential to extend a future community sewer system to include their properties. (Bob Fleming photo)
More neighbourhoods could be added to new North Okanagan sewer system

Switches from septic to sewer would likely increase development, housing density, the RDNO says

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A man and woman, both 33 and from Kelowna, were arrested on Postill Lake Forest Service Road in possession of two stolen vehicles Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna duo arrested with stolen vehicles after ‘brief’ bicycle getaway attempt

A man and a woman were arrested on a forest service road on numerous pending charges

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Doctor Jessica Luksts is being recognized on BC Family Doctor Day for her part in the early days of the pandemic. (Submitted)
Celebrate BC Family Doctor Day on May 19

The South Okanagan Similkameen has over 80 family doctors serving the community

COVID-19 virus. (Black Press Media file)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over at Kelowna retirement home

The outbreak at Sandalwood Retirement Resort was initially announced by Interior Health on April 23

Most Read