WINNIPEG — The parents of a missing woman from northern Manitoba are begging for help to find their daughter who has disappeared without a trace.
Christine Wood, who is 21, was with her mother and father in Winnipeg on Aug. 19 to accompany a relative to a medical appointment.
The family from Oxford House First Nation was staying at a hotel when Wood left for the evening. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since; calls and texts to her cellphone have gone unanswered.
George and Melinda Wood say that’s very unlike their daughter.
They are asking for help from anyone who may know where she is.
“We need her home,” a tearful George Wood told a news conference Tuesday. “She’s our child. It doesn’t matter how old she may be. She’s still our child.
“We need your help to find her and make sure she’s safe, so anybody who has any information, who knows whereabouts she is, or any little thing, please help us.”
Wood’s mother could say little through her sobs.
“Christine, if you see me, if you can hear me, please come home. Come home please. We love you very much. We’re waiting for you.”
Sheila North Wilson, grand chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak which represents northern First Nations, said she knows the couple from the Bunibonibee Cree reserve.
“(They are) very lovely people who care about their family,” she said. “They raised their family with love and they raised their family to be the best the can be, and now this happens to them.”
She said Wood’s disappearance underlines the urgent need to address the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women just as a federal inquiry is starting.
“We can’t wait for the results. We have to do something now as a community … to stop what’s happening and find our girls and bring them home to their families,” North Wilson said.
She called on all levels of government and society as a whole to address a problem that “just keeps persisting.”
“It’s upon all of us. We can’t ignore this.”
Wood, a former University of Winnipeg student, is described as being five-foot-six with an average build and shoulder-length, dark-brown hair. She is believed to have been carrying a white purse.
Christy Dzikowicz, with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, described Wood as someone “who has a family and a future.”
“There’s not one person who should have to face the horror of not knowing where their child is,” she said.