This is part two in a three-part series about the disappearance and death of B.C. teen Noelle O’Soup. For part one, click here.
Warning: Details may be disturbing to some viewers. Discretion is advised.
It’s been more than a year since Noelle O’Soup walked away from the Port Coquitlam group home where she was placed by the province, and three months since her decomposed remains were finally discovered inside the unit of an unknown man in Vancouver.
And still, her extended family members, some of whom say they’d long lobbied for O’Soup and her siblings to come and live with them in Northern B.C., have very little in the way of answers, accountability, or access to any information involving O’Soup’s case file, from the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
“I was looking for a bigger home, a bigger place, so I could take this kid in,” Noelle’s uncle, Cody Munch, told Global News from his home in Fort St. John.
“And we were one week too late. Because by the time we found a bigger place with an extra room, we were one week too late,” explained Munch, of the efforts of him and his sister—both siblings of O’Soup’s mother, who struggles with addiction issues—to gain custody of their sister’s children.
Munch and his sister, Michelle, live in Fort St. John and Quesnel, respectively.
O’Soup and her siblings—who belong to The Key First Nation in Saskatchewan on their paternal side, and the Saulteau First Nations on their maternal side, were placed in foster or group homes across Metro Vancouver.
While in the foster system, the children were given little access to their extended family network of elders, cousins, aunts and uncles, according to Munch.
“The meetings we were having with (the children), they weren’t consistent enough. And they were too short. They didn’t even give the kids and us a chance to connect where we wanted to connect. It was more on their terms, rather than ours,” Munch explains of his supervised visits with his niece, for which he says he’d travel from Fort St. John to Metro Vancouver. The last time Munch would see his niece was July of 2020.
“We were being watched the whole time. We couldn’t really say much or talk to them much. Something was going on behind the scenes. I have no clue what. We kept asking questions, and we kept getting the run-around. Obviously, there was something going on because a little girl isn’t going to run away, and think East Hastings and Heatley (Avenue) is her best option,” Munch said.