Enderby’s Baylee Burian lights sage for a smudging ceremony Sunday, Nov. 1, at the Splatsin Community Centre before she and close to 70 people joined in a vehicle procession and drove to a Silver Creek farm to chant and pray for four missing Shuswap women. (Roger Knox - Black Press)

Enderby’s Baylee Burian lights sage for a smudging ceremony Sunday, Nov. 1, at the Splatsin Community Centre before she and close to 70 people joined in a vehicle procession and drove to a Silver Creek farm to chant and pray for four missing Shuswap women. (Roger Knox - Black Press)

Rally for missing women gathers at Sagmoen farm in Shuswap

More than 60 people gather at farm Sunday, Nov. 1 where remains of Traci Genereaux were found

A quiet Shuswap country road was not so quiet on Sunday night.

More than 40 vehicles with yellow lights flashing in the darkness and red ribbons tied on them parked in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road, in the community of Silver Creek near Salmon Arm, around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1. In a rally for missing women, about 60 people gathered at the gate of the farm where Curtis Sagmoen lives with his parents, to drum, chant and hold prayers.

Along with media and supporters, including families of the women missing in the Shuswap as well as family of 18-year-old Traci Genereaux, whose remains were found by police in October 2017 on the farm, two RCMP officers stood quietly near the gate.

A lighted poster of the four missing women – Nicole Bell, Caitlin Potts, Ashley Simpson, Deanna Wertz – and Traci was set up for everyone to see.

The farmhouse remained in darkness while people at the gate shouted, call and response, to the beat of hand drums.

The theme was: No justice, no peace. No more stolen sisters. Gone but not forgotten.

At different points during the approximate hour at the gate, onlookers said they could see Sagmoen outside in the darkness. The yard lights were turned on by someone at the house at one point. A woman was seen recording with a phone on the porch. Someone, thought to be Curtis, drove off in a vehicle towards the back of the property.

The night concluded with a prayer ceremony for the women and families.

Tina Blandford, Nicole Bell’s aunt, like other family members of the missing women, expressed her gratitude for all the people present.

“We’re very grateful for all the support of all the communities around us and all the people who have come tonight to support what we are doing. The families just want answers to what happened to their daughters.”

Bell’s 35th birthday was Monday, Nov. 2.

She is one of four women in the Shuswap who went missing over the course of 19 months between February 2016 and September 2017. Bell was last seen on Sept. 2, 2017, in Sicamous.

It was on Feb. 21, 2016, that Potts, who lived in Enderby, was last seen. On April 27 of that year, Simpson was gone. On July 19, 2016, Wertz was last seen. Both Simpson and Wertz lived on Yankee Flats Road on the outskirts of Silver Creek. The remains of 18-year-old Traci Genereaux from Vernon were found in October 2017 on a Silver Creek farm during a police search. No charges have been laid in her death.

Among the people showing their support Sunday was Enderby’s Baylee Burian.

“The missing women in our area has been a cause close to my heart for a few years now,” she said. “I did not know any of the missing women personally, but I’ve gotten to know the mothers now… over the course of the years this has been going on.”

READ MORE: Mother implores people to not forget daughter missing in Shuswap

READ MORE: 3 years probation for North Okanagan man found guilty of running over sex worker with ATV

READ MORE: Vernon RCMP warn sex workers to stay away from Curtis Sagmoen



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


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

Missing womanprotest

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Priscilla Potts, Catilin Potts’ mother, speaks to media on Oct. 30 outside the Sagmoen farm about how much she misses her daughter who has been missing since Feb. 21, 2016. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

Priscilla Potts, Catilin Potts’ mother, speaks to media on Oct. 30 outside the Sagmoen farm about how much she misses her daughter who has been missing since Feb. 21, 2016. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

A poster of the missing women from the Shuswap as well as Traci Generaux whose remains were found on the farm was displayed at the rally on Oct. 30 in front of the Sagmoen farm on Salmon River Road near Silver Creek. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

A poster of the missing women from the Shuswap as well as Traci Generaux whose remains were found on the farm was displayed at the rally on Oct. 30 in front of the Sagmoen farm on Salmon River Road near Silver Creek. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

Just Posted

Twelve new curbside pickup parking spots are now in effect along 30th Avenue in downtown Vernon. (Downtown Vernon Association photo)
Downtown Vernon curbside pick up parking now in drive

12 locations along 30th Avenue intended to help retail and dining sectors amid COVID-19

Vernon Search and Rescue members assisted a groomer operator on the trails at SilverStar Mountain Resort Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (VSAR photo)
Vernon Search and Rescue helps stranded groomer at Silver Star

Three members responded to the operator whose groomer experienced a mechanical issue Nov. 29

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

An Enderby restaurant and pub has been shut down since Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29, 2020 as a precaution after a guest reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. (Howard Johnson photo)
Enderby pub shuts down after guest reportedly tests positive for COVID-19

The Howard Johnson hotel, restaurant and pub has been closed since Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29

Vernon taxpayers can expect a 2.55 per cent increase for 2021. (File photo)
Vernon scales back 2021 tax increase

Pause of infrastructure levy program reduces burden on taxpayers

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Brent Ross poses with his dog Jack who died over the weekend after asphyxiating on a ball. Ross hopes his experience serves as a cautionary tale to other dog owners. (Contributed)
Salmon Arm man warns others after dog dies from choking on a ball

Brent Ross grieving the sudden loss of Jack, a healthy, seven-year-old chocolate lab

Mayor Colin Basran at the announcement of the 2021 Tim Horton’s Brier to be hosted in Kelowna on Nov. 21. (Contributed)
Tim Hortons Brier not coming to Kelowna

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted Curling Canada to move to hub model, similar to the NHL playoffs

Robert Gibson, born November 24, 2020 is in BC Children’s Hospital. Photo contributed
Princeton baby fights for his life, with parents at his side

A Go Fund Me campaign has been started to help family with expenses

Grapevine Optical was the victim of an early morning break and enter Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2020. (Crime Stoppers Okanagan / Facebook)
Collection of designer sunglasses stolen from South Okanagan eye-wear shop

Crime Stoppers is seeking the identity of two male suspects

By this time next year, the BC Green Pharmadeuticals cannabis growing facility in Princeton is expected to employ at least 150 people, according to the owner. (File photo)
Princeton cannabis plant thriving despite lawsuit and bad press, says owner

Company expects to hire 30 more employees in the next two months

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Most Read