Madison Roy-Boudreau’s family, friends and neighbours gathered in a park in Bathurst, N.B., Wednesday evening to honour the teenager one year after the day she disappeared.
May 11 is a sombre occasion. On that morning in 2021, the 14-year-old left for school, but never arrived and never came home.
Bathurst Police said she was seen getting into a grey Ford Ranger pickup truck, a vehicle they later seized.
They have not officially named any suspects nor said who owns the truck, but a timeline of the investigation released by the Bathurst Police Force in the weeks after Roy-Boudreau vanished included the arrest of 42-year-old Steven Laurette.
His arrest, for breach of a court order, was only publicly linked by its inclusion in that timeline.
Three months after she went missing, in August, the force announced they’d deemed Roy-Boudreau to be the victim of a homicide.
Their reason for believing the girl had been killed is unknown, even to her family.
“I think it’s time,” said family spokesperson Maggie Lavigne.
“They need to let the family know or at least give us some type of closure. They need to know.”
Lavigne said Roy-Boudreau’s father, Jason Boudreau, has had an extremely hard time dealing with the loss of his daughter this past year. He’s still too upset, she said, to turn up to Wednesday’s vigil.
“I’ll be honest, throughout the last 365 days I’ve wiped a lot of his tears,” Lavigne said.
His sister, Linda Boudreau, thanked the community at the event while wearing purple, like most in attendance. It was Roy-Boudreau’s favourite colour.
She also thanked Lavigne for organizing.
“We didn’t have the heart to do it right now,” she said through tears.
Still trying to make sense of the circumstances are some of Madison’s friends and classmates.
“No one would ever wish this on anyone, not even a worst enemy,” said her friend Ethan Baisley.
“I really would never wish this or want anyone to be in her shoes or what she’s gone through,” he said.
“We need to find Maddy,” Alexsis Couture said.
“She needs to be found.”
Ground and air searches were conducted in the areas of Bathurst and Middle River late into last fall.
As far as law enforcement have said, nothing of note has been found.
RCMP took lead of the investigation early last month, after evidence seemingly placed Roy-Boudreau outside Bathurst Police jurisdiction at last sighting.
They said she was in Middle River after May 11, 2021.
“She was considered to be alive at that point,” said Corporal Hans Oullette, New Brunswick RCMP spokesperson.
Oullette added he can’t get into what’s led investigators to deem the disappearance a homicide, but said that the priority now is bringing Roy-Boudreau home.
At this point, family and friends say that’s all they want as well, followed by justice.
“Madison is not resting right now,” said Lavigne, “not until she comes home.”
She asks anyone who might have any information, no matter how small, to take it to law enforcement.
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