The family of missing St. Anthony woman Jennifer Hillier-Penney sent a loud and clear message on the third anniversary of her disappearance. In a memorial walk and gathering on Nov. 30, they made it clear they will continue to search for answers.
The weather didn’t cooperate for an outside event as planned at Friendship Park. Instead, roughly 60 people, including family, friends, and townspeople, gathered at the Lions Club. The group also held a memorial walk from the club to the RCMP detachment.
Hillier-Penney went missing from the St. Anthony home of her estranged husband on Nov. 30, 2016.
“We braved the winds and the rain and the hail that all came with it. We walked over and stood in front of the (RCMP) station for a minute and turned around and walked back, just to prove a point,” said LeAnn Davis, Hillier-Penney’s niece. “Just to prove that we are still here and we are still waiting.”
To date, no one has been charged in connection with her disappearance.
Davis said the family is still waiting for this year’s update from investigators, as they have received the past two years.
“We don’t even know if she’s a priority anymore,” Davis said. “That’s not a good enough feeling. We need answers. We want to know where she is. Her face needs to be out there because if not she’s just going to be some other missing person and that’s not good enough.”
Another of Hillier-Penney’s nieces, Sandi Hillier, also spoke during the event.
Hillier-Penney’s daughter Marina of Clarenville, was unable to attend, but she sent along a message, imploring anyone with information — no matter how small — to come forward.
She offered up the remaining money from a search party fund created more than two years ago to anyone who could provide a lead to bring her mother home.
Davis said there will be a memorial every year until they get answers.
“Until somebody is found responsible,” she said.
“We are not sure what happened that night but there was somebody to blame. Somebody knows where she is. There’s people in this town that knows the answers that we are looking for, definitely.”
Davis said she was asked recently if it is different when somebody passes away and you know where they are.
Her response was “yes”.
“In my personal experiences, I’ve went to funerals since and you just sit there and think, I wish we had this,” Davis said. “As horrible as it sounds, you wish we had a funeral. At least then you would know where she is.
She said the family continues to preach that anyone with information should please come forward, anonymously, if they prefer.”Until we get answers we don’t have that. We can’t move on because we have nothing to move on from. We don’t know where she is, we don’t know where to go next. We need to be able to move on. We need to be able to grieve and know where she is, and lay her to rest where she should be.”
“I don’t know how you can still function if you know information about somebody that is missing and a family that is pushing for answers,” Davis said. “I hope there’s somebody that’s not sleeping at night. I hope there’s somebody that’s suffering. I do believe one day we will find the answers.”