Mekayla Bali’s mother is still hopeful that she’ll find her daughter, five years after the teenage girl vanished from a Yorkton bus station.
Paula Bali held a vigil south of Sacred Heart High School in Yorkton on Monday to commemorate the memories and keep hope of finding her daughter alive.
The vigil began with prayers, followed by a moment of silence. Those with a thought or prayer made their way to the podium to share it with those gathered around.
“It is such a visceral and emotional moment to think that the last time you see someone that you care so much about and had so much of her life left to live. It’s really important that we return there and kind of honour her where she was last known to be,” said Paula.
Mekayla was 16 when she was last seen leaving the Sacred Heart high school just before noon on April 12th, 2016. She was described as a shy and quiet girl.
“She wasn’t a disobedient kid at all. She made being a parent super easy. It’s probably why I have two more children,” said Paula.
Using surveillance footage, the Saskatchewan RCMP pieced together Mekayla’s last day in Yorkton. However, her final destination remains unknown.
Throughout the day, Mekayla was seen making several calls from her phone from different parts of Yorkton. Mekayla made most of her calls that day using an app called Kik. Police have been unable to trace conversations due to U.S. privacy laws.
“Even that morning, we kind of do our hair and makeup together and just chat about our day. There wasn’t anything that stood our in my mind or in hindsight that anything was out of the ordinary,” said Paula.
Paula suggests parents occasionally monitor their children’s phones.
“The era of so much activity on social media, its not that you don’t trust your child but you just don’t know who may be the other person speaking to them.”
A reward fund of $25,000 is being offered by Mekayla’s family for anyone with information about where she might be.
Paula said that the search for Mekayla will continue until she is found.