Search parties combine efforts to locate missing women

By Taylor MacPherson
May 18, 2017 - 8:00am
Maps and fliers cover the tables at the search party's base of operations in Wesley United Church.
Maps and fliers cover the tables at the search party's base of operations in Wesley United Church. Taylor MacPherson/paNOW Staff
Joanne Laurin (L) and Happy Charles (R) have both been missing since April.
Joanne Laurin (L) and Happy Charles (R) have both been missing since April. Submitted Photos.
Joanne Laurin's father and step-mother Randy and Gayle McCallum have been searching for her since May 5.
Joanne Laurin's father and step-mother Randy and Gayle McCallum have been searching for her since May 5.

They aren’t giving up.

A small group of friends, family and volunteers are continuing to scour Prince Albert and the surrounding area for any sign of two missing women.

The search for Happy Charles, 42, began late last month. She was last seen in Prince Albert April 1. Recently the searchers combined their efforts to include Joanne Rayne Laurin, a 25-year-old woman missing since April 22.

Yesterday morning the searchers assembled at Wesley United Church, which is serving as their temporary base of operations. Among them was Beverly Benson, who is helping out with the search despite having no direct connection to either missing woman.

“I was just really compelled to provide support,” Benson told paNOW. “No child should have to go look for their mother on their own.”

Benson has helped organize food, water and other supplies for the search parties, as well as offering her knowledge of the local geography. Organization and communication are the keys to an effective search, she said, so she has also helped instruct other volunteers on the proper protocols to follow when conducting a grid search.

Gayle McCallum, Laurin’s step-mother, said the search effort has received plenty of public support as well as online through social media. McCallum said the group has also asked local farmers and landowners to check their properties and outbuildings, and keep an eye open for any clues.

“Check sheds, garages, just around the area to help,” McCallum said. “Anything to find either of these ladies.”

According to a police description, Laurin is 5’4”, 125 lbs with brown hair and eyes. She was last seen wearing a multi-coloured jacket with a plaid pattern, as well as black running shoes.

Charles is described as 5’3” tall, weighing roughly 112 lbs. She has brown hair and eyes, and was last seen wearing a black backpack, glasses and a black leather jacket.

Anyone with information on either Charles or Laurin is urged to contact Prince Albert Police Service without delay.

 

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On Twitter: @TMacPhersonNews

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