The sister of a Halifax woman missing for more than a week is making a national plea to the public for help in tracking down Loretta Saunders.
“She’s the strongest person I know,” said 21-year-old Delilah Terriak Friday morning at the Mi’kmaq Friendship Centre in Halifax.
“She’s so strong … it’s keeping me going through this.”
Terriak flew to Halifax from B.C. earlier this week to help look for her sister, who was last seen on Feb. 13 leaving her Cowie Hill Road apartment. She was reported missing by her family on Monday.
Saunders, a 26-year-old Inuk woman originally from Labrador, is in the last year of her honours sociology degree at Saint Mary’s University, working on a thesis about missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
Police in Harrow, Ont., arrested a man and woman on Thursday who were discovered driving Saunders’s car. Halifax police obtained warrants for Blake Legette, 25, and Victoria Henneberry, 28, and said they expect to bring them back to Nova Scotia next week to face charges of possession of a stolen vehicle.
Family and supporters plan on putting up missing posters at gas stations and toll booths along the highways between Halifax and Ontario, said Cheryl Maloney, president of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association.
“We’re depending on the public,” she said. “We’re praying the public steps up.”
“Someone had to have seen her or the people that were driving her car,” added Terriak.
Annie Clair, who was at the Mi’kmaq Friendship Centre in Halifax Friday, met Saunders earlier this year while the latter was working on her honours thesis.
“She was going to interview me and ask me how it was to be a native woman following traditional ways,” said the 43-year-old, originally from Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick.
Clair was last in contact with Saunders days before she disappeared.
“She’s an amazing person,” she added, saying the two bonded quickly. “She has a good heart.”
A website has been set up to raise money to help bring Saunders family and close friends to Halifax and to help finance the search.