Pamela was 22 years old when she was last seen alive leaving a party in Timmins, Ontario in the early hours of December 14th, 2003.
All these years later, her family awaits news that isn’t forthcoming and living with the unknown may be the hardest part of all.
“As much as I pray we find her, or her remains, it is still hard for it to become a reality,” said Holopainen’s older sister Vanessa Brousseau, in a 2017 CBC radio broadcast that was part of a series that shone the light on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls from northeastern Ontario.
Christmas 2003 came and went. And then on New Year’s Eve the family heard a story that sent Brousseau and her mom to the police station.
“Somebody came up to us at the bingo hall and asked if we’d heard that Pam left her spouse. We said ‘no’, we were shocked. And right away we asked ‘well, where’s the kids?’ and the kids were with the spouse. So immediately me and my mother went and reported my sister missing at the police station,” she said in the interview.
In a Jan. 4, 2004 Timmins police put out a missing person notice which read: “There is a possibility that Holopainen may have gone to the Hamilton, Ontario area. While police do not suspect foul play, members of her family have grown concerned as they have not had any contact with Pamela since she was last seen.”[wp_ad_camp_1]
Brousseau alleges in the interview that the Timmins police initially proposed that her sister was a sex worker. She went on to say that it wasn’t until the OPP became involved that blood was found in her sister’s apartment. An Oct. 29, 2004, an OPP press release stated that Timmins police had asked it in May to investigate Holopainen’s disappearance.
That fall, the OPP searched a landfill using excavation equipment and cadaver dogs, but still her whereabouts remain unknown.
The investigation remains an open file for both the Timmins’ police and the OPP.
There’s a $50,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest and conviction.