Nearly a week has passed since a 26-year-old woman disappeared in Penticton, and both police and her family are holding out hope that she’s just blowing off steam.
Roxanne Louie was in the South Okanagan for the holiday season and scheduled to fly home to Vancouver at 9:45 a.m. on Jan. 4, but never got on her flight at the Penticton airport.
Relatives told the Western News that Louie, a single mother, was last seen leaving her grandmother’s home in Penticton with her belongings early on Jan. 4 on her way to meet up with friends. Louie’s three-year-old boy is still at her grandmother’s house.
“It’s not like her to just abandon her son,” said Louie’s father, Roger Hall.
Louie grew up in Oliver and later became a stay-at-home mom there, but moved to Vancouver in 2014 to attend interior design school. Hall said she struggled at first, but planned to stick with the program.
He described his daughter as outgoing and friendly, and “a really happy-go-lucky type of person.”
Hall said Louie struggled with alcohol and drugs in the past, but had recently been clean. However, he saw a photo on her Facebook page that showed her holding a can of beer on New Year’s Eve and suspects that may be tied to her disappearance.
“Hopefully she’s with some people just getting loose a little bit and partying a bit. Hopefully that’s the story,” said Hall.
Penticton RCMP spokesman Sgt. Rick Dellebuur confirmed that’s among the leads that members of the detachment’s General Investigation Section are following in their search for Louie, since the holiday season can trigger some people to relapse on drugs and alcohol.
“That’s what we’re hoping it is,” he said. “As bad as that might sound, we prefer that to be the reason for her disappearance.”
Dellebuur also noted it’s not unusual for the GIS team to work a missing-person case. He said they are best suited for a priority situation like this. Dellebuur said police are interested in speaking to anyone who may have seen Louie since Sunday.
Her extended family is also trying to piece together a timeline of her movements, and Hall has a simple message for his daughter: “We love her and we miss her, and … just to come home.”
Louie is five-foot-five, 117 pounds, with a slim build and long, brown hair and brown eyes, and is of First Nations descent.
Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Penticton RCMP at 250-492-4300.