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Story of Chelsea Poorman

Late on Sept. 6, 2020, Chelsea Poorman left a friend’s house, hinting to her sister she may be with a new love interest.

The young woman from the Kawacatoose First Nation was never seen again, and a full year later, her family still has no idea what happened to her.

“This past year has been crazy for us, not knowing where she is, not knowing if she’s alive,” her mother, Sheila Poorman, told CTV News. “She has medical needs and we don’t know if they’re being looked after.”

On the anniversary of Chelsea’s disappearance, supporters of her loved ones donned red and pink and marched in downtown Vancouver to raise awareness of her case.

They started near her last known location at Granville and Davie streets, and walked to Victory Square Park, a distance of about two kilometers.

Referencing other Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, organizers wrote on a poster advertising the walk for Chelsea, “No more stolen sisters.”

A similar event was held at the same time in Saskatoon, where some of Chelsea’s family is located.

The night Chelsea disappeared, she’d gone out for dinner and drinks with her sister. They spent some time at a friend’s apartment on Granville near Davie, and Chelsea left alone before midnight.

She talked to her sister over the phone shortly before 1 a.m., at which time she said she was “with her ‘new bae,'” suggesting a possible love interest.

The 25-year-old hasn’t been seen since, and there’s been no activity on her cellphone, social media accounts or bank account, according to a site set up to help generate tips.

Her mother told CTV News the last update she received from police is that their leads have all dried up.

“No tips have been coming in, it’s like a dead end,” Poorman said.

The family feels frustrated by the initial police response, which they believe squandered precious days that could have been spent on the search. They reported Chelsea missing on Sept. 8, but the Vancouver Police Department didn’t share a news release about her disappearance until Sept. 18.

Poorman said the department’s homicide unit eventually contacted her, but only months after her daughter went missing.

“I see the other people who go missing and they put them on the news right away. Chelsea wasn’t on the news right away – it was maybe two weeks later,” she said. “It felt like Chelsea didn’t matter, and it still feels that way.”

But she matters to many people, Poorman said, including friends and family across the country.

“Chelsea touched a lot of lives, from Saskatchewan, from Manitoba. She made many friends because she had a big heart and always wanted to help others,” she said.

“I just want Chelsea to know that we love her, we miss her dearly, and we just want her home.”

Police described Chelsea as 5’3″ and said she was about 120 pounds at the time of her disappearance. She has black hair, and was last seen carrying a beige purse. At that time, she was wearing a gray sweater, black crop top, black jeans and brown boots.

The family urged anyone who might know what happened to Chelsea to come forward, and there is a $10,000 reward for helping solve the case.

“Somebody does know something,” Poorman said. “I just want them to speak out. I want them to give me and Chelsea’s family some peace of mind.”