Trinity Poil’s family celebrated her 17th birthday on Thursday without her.
There was a cake. Her present was neatly wrapped. But for six weeks now, there hasn’t been a trace of Trinity.
“Hopefully we can celebrate with her if she comes home tonight or tomorrow,” said Trinity’s mother, Tammy Poil. “Or the next minute. Or the next hour….”
“I don’t sleep a lot any more,” said her stepfather, Patrick Reddick, a corporal in the 2nd Service Battalion at Garrison Petawawa. “I’m waking up to every little sound, hoping the door will open and she’ll just walk in.”
The last sign of Trinity was the trail of footprints she left in the heaviest snowfall of the winter, steps that led down the driveway, then were swept away by a passing snowplow.
Trinity, who stands 6-1 and weighs 240 lbs, had simply vanished.
“We have gone through every second of every minute of that day trying to find any kind of logic as to why she would leave,” Tammy said. There had been no arguments. Patrick and Trinity had spent the night before playing video games in the basement. She seemed herself, with no sign of unhappiness or worry.
ecause the family lives in military housing, Trinity’s disappearance is being handled by the Military Police, with support from the OPP. Police have organized ground searches of the base and the riverfront, had Trinity’s phone and laptop examined by the military’s National Investigation Service, and contacted Tammy’s ex-husband, who raised Trinity from ages three to 14, as well as Trinity’s biological father.
She had never left home before. Trinity is on the autism spectrum and has difficulty navigating the most basic social interactions. Her life revolves around computers and video games, like Cuphead and Undertale. Her social contacts were in gaming communities on Twitch, Steam and Discord, online networks where she found the friends she couldn’t make in real life.
“I told her over and over and over again that people on the Internet aren’t always who you think they are,” Tammy said. “She said all her friends are online, but I said you need friends you can go hang out with, too. But it just never happened.”