Vera Hastie has held onto her missing big sister’s old purse, prayer book and jewelry for nearly 70 years.
Two months after the Döderlein family arrived in Quebec from Germany in September 1954, Hastie’s 14-year-old sister Rosemarie went to get bread from the bakery and never came back.
Hours later, when Rosemarie still hadn’t returned from the bakery just a couple of blocks away from their home in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, her father went looking for her. The baker told him he had never seen the girl.
It was as if she had vanished.
The family started a search which has never stopped.
“One time I came home, and I put my head in my mother’s lap, and I just cried, cried, cried. ‘Where’s my sister? I miss my buddy, my pal,'” said Hastie, who was 11 at the time.
The family had several theories of what could have happened to the teen — black market adoption, child or sex trafficking, kidnapping — but never got answers.