Immaculate (“Mackie”) Mary Basil went missing early on Friday, June 14, 2013 near the Kuz Che Indian Reserve, 70 km north of Fort St. James in British Columbia. It was reported that she was last seen with her cousin and another man leaving a house party. Her disappearance is considered uncharacteristic of her personality.
Life before disappearance
The daughter of Samuel Basil and Patricia Joseph, Mackie Basil was mother to Jamison, who was 5 years old when she disappeared. Basil had three sisters and three brothers: Crystal, Ida, Samantha (deceased), Nick, Peter and Travis (deceased).
Basil grew up in the foster care system with her sisters Ida and Crystal. Ida says that their experience there bonded them; they called each other daily at 10 am. Mackie was part of the Tl’azt’en Nation, based out of Tachie, south of the Kuz Che Reserve. Basil lived in Fort St. James at the time of her disappearance, working part-time as a secretary and as a teacher’s assistant at the school. She had recently split from her long-time partner and father to Jamison.
She was known to be an introvert who rarely partied and was not known to drink or do drugs. It was a surprise to family that she was going to a party alone and drinking; she was very selective with who she spent time with and preferred to spend time at home cleaning, decorating, completing tasks, being online, talking with her sisters or spending time with her son. She would often make porridge for him and set out frozen huckleberries; her son was important to her. Ida said of her sister that she was a “caring, beautiful person” and that “she’d help out in any way she can if you asked her for help.”
Basil had recently separated with her common law husband just before the time of her disappearance. News of the breakup was also a surprise to the family, and the cause of the separation is unknown. It is not public knowledge how long she was with her husband.
The events leading up to her disappearance are not entirely known, but she was seen at a house party on the Tachie Reserve before she left with a man named Victor and her cousin Keith shortly after midnight. It is not substantiated, but it was reported that she attempted to hitchhike alone after the truck that she was in got into an accident.
Basil was not driving a vehicle at the time of her disappearance. Uncharacteristically for her for an overnight trip, she did not bring her makeup bag or an extra set of clothes, and didn’t own a cell phone. She was reported to have been wearing grey yoga (capri) pants, white shoes, and a black hoodie with a maple leaf on the front. She also had a dark blue iPod Shuffle with white earphones on her when she went missing. None of the items that went missing with Mackie were ever found.
Basil attended a house party on Thursday, June 13, 2013, in Tachie. It is not public knowledge who also was at the party that night, or how many people were there, but Vanessa Joseph believes that it was mostly Basil’s cousins. One cousin Keith, and a man named Victor, who was known to Vanessa, were also there. The party was at a house that was a 20-minute walk from Basil’s house.
According to the RCMP’s report to the family, Victor and Keith reported that they were riding in a white truck with Basil the night of the disappearance. Sometime early on June 14, 2013, the truck that Keith, Victor, and allegedly Basil, were traveling in got into an accident on Leo Creek Forest Service Road between Tachie and Kuzche, near a place called “16 kilometer.” The accident happened while the truck was traveling away from the cabin. Vanessa said the accident was apparent because there were parts of the truck near a tree that was broken in half. Vanessa said that she learned that an attempt was made to get a black truck at the hunter’s cabin in Kuzche to pull the truck. Victor and Keith both told the RCMP that Basil separated from them after the accident. RCMP press releases indicated that she separated from the two other men shortly after their truck got stuck in the mud.
At about 10 am on Friday, June 14, 2013 Victor was seen walking down the street in Tachie wearing clothes that were wet up to his chest. Vanessa, Joseph, and Ron witnessed this in front of Ron’s house. They thought it strange, but not knowing that Basil was missing at the time, didn’t investigate further. After learning that the truck that Victor was driving was in an accident near Kuzche, Vanessa considered it odd that Victor would be back in town so soon, on foot. The black truck from the hunting cabin was not driven back to Tachie but was left on Leo Creek Forest Service Road, an hour away by vehicle from where Victor was seen walking.
Investigation, search and awareness efforts
Both Victor and Keith were given polygraph tests. The RCMP reported to the family that both men were cooperative. They were also interviewed by a forensic psychologist. The psychologist’s report to the family stated that they found nothing suspicious. Vanessa believes that the police interviewed everyone involved.
No one revealed to the family that Basil left the party with Keith and Victor until after police interviews on 18 June 2013, when the RCMP disclosed this to the family. According to relatives, the family did not hear much from the RCMP in the first year after she went missing, though the RCMP issued a press release to the public on the third anniversary of Mackie’s disappearance.
The RCMP took part in the search effort for about a week after 18 June 2013. They used dogs, and there was a hailstorm and unfavorable rainy weather on the weekend of 22 June 2013. Extensive ground and air efforts were made in the days after Basil’s disappearance, carried out by numerous search-and-rescue organizations, RCMP air services, relatives, and locals. In the time since search efforts have been made only by search-and-rescue and the Tl’azt’en band. An approximate 20 km radius area was searched in the area around Tachie/Kuzche.