Disappearance of Nanaimo woman approaches 20 years as quest for answers continues



What happened to Lisa Marie Young?
It’s a question family, friends, police, advocates and the community at large have asked for nearly two decades.


An annual march on Sunday, June 26 to honour Young’s memory and raise awareness in hopes of advancing the case starts at 11 a.m. at the Nanaimo RCMP detachment and proceeds to Maffeo Sutton Park.


Young vanished in the early morning hours of June 30, 2002 after a night out with friends in Nanaimo.


Her last known contact with anybody was a text message to a friend stating she was being held against her will in a red Jaguar on Bowen Rd.

Nanaimo RCMP Res. Cst. Gary O’Brien said their serious crimes investigators continue reviewing new tips that continue to come in.


He said new investigators have worked the case in recent years, bringing fresh sets of eyes and new techniques.


“When information comes to light and we feel there’s a need a search will be done or an area will be canvassed — we’ll do whatever is necessary to find out who’s responsible for this,” O’Brien told NanaimoNewsNOW.


Nanaimo RCMP are convinced Young was a homicide victim.


While a number of searches for her remains have been conducted over the years, O’Brien said he can’t expand on the results of those searches or where Young could be.


A hopeful news conference was staged at last year’s Lisa Marie Young march in which Nanaimo Mounties stated multiple witnesses had come forward whom previously were hesitant to do so.


Despite increased public awareness over the past two years, in large part thanks to a highly subscribed in-depth podcast examining Young’s disappearance, no arrests have been made.


Res. Cst. O’Brien said there are other people locally who have chosen for whatever reason to withhold potentially valuable information.


“We still need to speak to them. Don’t assume that we have the information, you may have a piece that moves this investigation further,” O’Brien said.


Cyndy Hall, a diligent advocate persistently raising Young’s case publicly, said she remains highly motivated to find the body of her friend and hold those responsible for her death.


“I keep pushing forward because Lisa deserves it, she had her whole life ahead of her and it was violently taken from her. I also want to continue the advocacy her mom was doing,” Hall said.


While her advocacy can be emotionally draining, Hall finds the annual march therapeutic.


“Yes it is, because it’s a bunch of us who care about Lisa and are getting together to keep her memory alive and to honour her.”


A live video feed of the march can be seen on the NanaimoNewsNOW Facebook page beginning shortly before 11 a.m.


A conditional $50,000 U.S. reward is available for information given to police leading to Young’s remains.


The money won’t be awarded unless the tipster is positively identified to police.


Podcaster Laura Palmer recently released the first of two new episodes examining the man in the Jaguar who drove Young from a house party the night she disappeared.


The annual march for Young is also used as an opportunity to shine a light on other cases of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.


Following Sunday’s march several speakers will address a crowd at Maffeo Sutton Park’s Lions Pavillion.

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