Saanich woman’s disappearance a ‘mystery,’ police say

Shirley Burstall, 75, has been missing since April 5, leaving family concerned for her safety and well being.

  • Apr. 16, 2012 12:00 p.m.

Saanich police are asking anyone with information on the whereabouts of Shirley Burstall

A Saanich woman described by her daughter as “healthy, vibrant, intelligent and active” has been missing since April 5, leaving family concerned for her safety and well being.

Shirley Burstall, 75, was last seen on April 5 at a gas station in Ladysmith. She’d spent the last five days on vacation in Chemainus, but no one is sure where she was headed after filling up her car. She hasn’t been seen since.

“I think something happened on the afternoon of the fifth,” said her daughter Chris, 47. “Nothing that happened indicates she had any plans to go anywhere. It’s scary. It just doesn’t feel real.”

Chris said she talks and texts with her mom on a daily basis. On Easter Sunday, after not hearing from her mom for a couple days, Chris attempted to make contact multiple times.

“On Tuesday I texted her and said I was very worried, upset and not sleeping; if she did not respond I would be filling a missing persons report. ‘This is your 24-hour notice,’” Chris said about what she texted.

Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen says the family filed a missing persons report on Wednesday, April 11, nearly a week after they had last heard from her.

“It’s a bit of a mystery right now. We had a helicopter up (Sunday) for five hours searching the roadways,” Jantzen said. “There was a mention that she may have been thinking about going out to Tofino, Ucluelet, so that roadway was searched. … But she could’ve (also) gone (north) towards Parksville … or somewhere else.”

There have been no transactions on her back account or credit card since putting gas in her car in Ladysmith.

“She’d never do this to the family, and she wouldn’t just disappear. She’s always been in contact. She’s never done anything like this,” Chris said.

Burstall and her husband Vic live in Cordova Bay. They retired to Greater Victoria from Calgary in the early 2000s.

Shirley Burstall is described as a Caucasian woman, 5’7″ tall with a medium build and short, brown hair.

She was driving a four-door 2002 silver Mazda Protege sedan with B.C. Licence Plate 287 CFG.

Saanich police are asking anyone with information on Shirley Burstall’s whereabouts to call 250-475-4321.

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