Two years after Mekayla Bali disappeared from outside the Yorkton bus station, her mother wants to make sure no one forgets her face.
For Paula Bali, it’s hard to know that after two years she isn’t any closer to knowing exactly what happened to her daughter who would be 19 now.
She believes wherever her daughter might be, she is not in control.
“We haven’t lost hope and really in my heart I feel that Mekayla is alive and she needs to be rescued from whatever situation she may be in,” Bali explained.
Since leaving her job, Bali has dedicated her days to doing as much as she can to find her daughter. In addition to continuing to work with the RCMP and offering a reward of $25,000, the family has also been in contact with the U.S. National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
Despite collecting hundreds of tips from sources around the world, including some leads that brought attention to the possibility she may be in the U.S., none have been completely confirmed.
“Tips are coming in even this week from the U.K., from local Saskatchewan tips, Alberta, B.C. So many tips from so many places, but ultimately none of them have led to her,” Bali explained.
If she could get any message to her daughter, it would be this, “hang on, we’re coming, we’re looking, run for home when you can.”
“We all love you, we can’t wait for you to come home,” Bali said, noting her family is determined to bring Mekayla home, whatever may have happened to her.
“As a mom of a missing person, I think your greatest fear is your child’s safety, but secondly it’s that people won’t remember Mekayla,” Bali said.
If anyone were to ever see her daughter, she wants them to remember her face and to know that she is missed by her family.
Bali also wants people to continue coming forward with any information they may have and not assume the police or the family already know it.
A vigil is planned to mark the anniversary of Mekayla’s disappearance on Thursday evening in Yorkton.
‘A Glimmer of Hope for Mekayla Bali Benefit Concert’ is also planned for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Painted Hand Casino in Yorkton. Donations will be accepted with funds going towards the reward.
A timeline of key events corresponding to Mekayla Bali’s disappearance two years later based on information released by RCMP, the Bali family and the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children:
April 12th, 2016 – Mekayla Bali goes missing.
April 14th, 2016 –RCMP ask the public help Bali, at the time believed to be in Regina or Saskatoon.
April 26th, 2016 – Hundreds gather in Yorkton for a candle light vigil for Bali.
June 2016 – Following a string of social media posts suggesting Bali was located, RCMP confirm she is still missing.
July 2016 – Police release a more detailed timeline of Bali’s whereabouts at a press conference.
October 6th, 2016 – The Bali family puts forward a $25,000 reward in hopes of finding Mekayla.
October 27th, 2016 – Paula Bali travels to BC to search for Mekayla after a tip that she may have been spotted in the Burnaby area.
April 12th, 2017 – Mekayla Bali has been missing for a year. The investigation moves into the hands of the RCMP Historical Case Unit.
July 2017 – The National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children says Mekayla may have travelled to the US and may have gone to Seattle or Portland, and that she might still be in the area.
August 15th, 2017 – The search for Bali returns to Yorkton, as crews comb the heavily wooded area behind Sacred Heart High School.
August 18th, 2017 – RCMP wrap up their search in Yorkton. Mounties won’t say exactly what lead them back to the woods behind Sacred Heart.
March 2018 – The Bali family announces the “Glimmer of Hope” fundraiser with the intent of raising the reward for Mekayla’s safe return to $50,000.
April 12th, 2018 – Mekayla Bali has been missing for two years
A candle light vigil is planned to take place at Sacred Heart High School Thursday evening.