Sooke RCMP announced late on Oct. 9 that the body of 45-year-old Raymona Peter, who was last seen leaving Scia’new First Nation on Sept. 30, had been found.
“It wasn’t the outcome we were hoping for, but we found my sister,” Serina Peter told Black Press Media on Saturday morning.
Search and rescue teams spent three days searching the Beecher Bay area for Peter before calling off the search on Oct. 3, when police received unconfirmed sightings of Peter in Victoria.
Since then, friends, family and neighbours had continued scouring the area where she was last seen. Speaking with Black Press Media earlier in the week, Peter’s father, Raymond (Rick) Peter, said he was staying positive.
“If I start crying and thinking about her being in that water … if I was to think about that and cry about that, that’s just like praying for that to happen,” he said.
Raymond was the last person to see Peter when she left his house on the morning of Sept. 30 and believes she had been looking for a missing pay-as-you-go cellphone.
RCMP said foul play was not suspected in Peter’s death and have released no further details at this time.
The Lil’ Red Dress Project, a grassroots organization from the Comox Valley, supported the family’s search. The group raises money to help families of missing and murdered Indigenous women or girls, often paying for signage and billboards.
For Raymona, the volunteer coalition launched its first-ever digital campaign.
Before Peter was found, Carla Voyageur, Lil’ Red Dress Project co-founder spoke with Black Press Media and said the not knowing is excruciatingly painful.
“Indigenous communities are tight-knit,” she said. “It’s a very heavy situation for any family or community to be in.
“Our numbers of missing and murdered cases are disproportionately high compared to non-Indigenous people,” she added. “We all know there has been the government inquiry, but there are yet to be steps taken on recommendations from that inquiry.”
–With files from Nina Grossman
|Raymona Peter, 45, was last seen Sept. 30 at 10 a.m. in the Beecher Bay area wearing the clothing seen in this photo. (Courtesy of RCMP)|
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