SURREY, B.C. – A woman who disappeared from Surrey, B.C., more that 50 years ago has been found, but the fairy tale family reunion may never happen.
RCMP recently featured Lucy Johnson in their historic missing-persons file and Johnson’s daughter, Linda Evans, used that information to advertise the disappearance where her mother once lived in Yukon.
RCMP spokesman Curtis Harling said it wasn’t long before Evans heard from what turned out to be her half-sister.
“There was a woman who noticed the advertisement in the classified in one of the papers in the Yukon. Obviously there was a photo attached to it, and said ‘Hey that photo is my mother,'” he said laughing.
Harling said the woman was the daughter from Lucy’s new marriage and had no idea she had a half-sister or that her mother had been married before.
Johnson, who’s now 77 and living under a different name, disappeared in 1961 but her husband Marvin Johnson didn’t report her missing until 1965.
The four-year time lapse made police suspicious and Marvin Johnson became a suspect.
Harling said police did a lot of work on the file back then and even excavated the family’s property looking for a body.
Police have been in contact with Marvin Johnson’s family, he said.
“They’d like to acknowledge that Marvin’s name is now cleared. He was identified as a person of interest at the time.”
Marvin died in the late 1990s, apparently never knowing what happened to his wife.
Harling had no details about why the woman left or what she’s been doing for the last 50 years. He wouldn’t even say where Johnson lived, other than to say it was near a “major city” in the territory.
Harling said the sisters were pleased to find out they had other family members, but their mother has some explaining to do.
“Obviously there are a lot of questions that have to be answered. That’s part of the whole reconciliation between the family,” he said. “This is a life-changing event.”
He said police are pleased to be wrapping up their investigation and that the daughter in Surrey has some answers.
“We weren’t really thinking that we’d find someone alive and well that far away,” Harling said “But in these kinds of cases you never know what can happen.”
While it closes the books on the 50-year-old file, it’s not the department’s oldest case.
The file of Humphrey Wilkinson, who vanished in 1957, remains open.