The Disappearance of Patricia Salamandyk – Missing from Spruce Grove, Alberta since 1972
Patricia Janice Salamandyk (Born 1955) was a teenager who disappeared after leaving her school bus. When she and her sister reached the school gate, Patricia said that she was skipping school to take the highway to Edmonton.
The Grade 9 student was never seen again.
Elsie Gross still can’t talk about her older sister without breaking down.
“You go through the motions and you survive,” she said.
Salamandyk grew up on a dairy farm near Spruce Grove. By all accounts, she was a happy, well-adjusted girl.
“I never got a sense anything was wrong that day,” Gross said. “I just remembered saying to her ‘don’t be late for the bus or you’ll be in trouble.'”
One by one, police ruled out the possibilities — that Salamandyk had taken off with older friends; that she’d run away to join a commune out west — until investigators reached a dead end.
“I never got an indication she planned it, because she didn’t take anything that was important to her,” Gross said.
Six years after her sister’s disappearance, Gross again went to investigators, only to find more dead ends.
“She hadn’t worked, married, left the country or died legally. There was no trace of her. She had a social insurance number, but it was never used.”
Despite a lack of information over the years, Insp. Gibson Glavin says the RCMP is now taking the rare step of re-opening the cold case.
“It’s a long time but there’s no reason someone should give up hope,” he said. “There’s more to know.”
RCMP are asking anyone with any information pertaining to Salamandyk’s disappearance to contact police at 780-968-7267. Anonymous tips can be sent to CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at CrimeStoppers.ca.
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