Family, police are puzzled by the disappearance of a Moncton grandmother

Donna O’Reilly was last seen leaving work, heading home to watch the men’s Olympic hockey semi-final

Donna OReillyDonna O’Reilly, 54, walked out of the Highfield Square mall in Moncton on Friday, and hasn’t been seen since.

She was reported missing Friday night.

Her husband, Harold, contacted police after he found her empty car in the mall’s parking lot. Her debit or credit cards haven’t been used in the six days she’s been gone, and her family is terrified that she’s been abducted.

“There’s just absolutely no other explanation. There’s absolutely no way my mom would leave on her own accord or do anything to herself.” said O’Reilly’s daughter, Karen Streek. “My mom is a very, very happy woman.”

Streek says her parents, who are just entering retirement, were planning to travel to Florida with family for six weeks starting next Friday. O’Reilly, who Streek calls “super-grandma,” has two young grandchildren, one of which is often swaddled in “grandma’s girl” t-shirts, and both of her daughters are currently expecting.

“At this point in her life she’s ecstatically happy.”

Donna O'Reilly with her two grandkids

O’Reilly was working at the H&R Block kiosk at the Bay on Friday. There was a storm outside and things were slow, so she decided to go home early—she was anxious to watch the men’s Olympic hockey semi-final. At 8 o’clock, she was captured leaving the building by security cameras. No one knows what happened next, because the exterior camera covering her car was malfunctioning.

Harold was at home watching the game. Around 8:30, Streek and her sister, Amy Popovich, made a Skype call from Ottawa. They were phoning to tell their parents to expect another grandchild—Amy was pregnant with her first. Harold said their mom must have gone into her head office after work, and that the girls should call back in the morning. He dozed off and woke up around midnight. He knew something was wrong, so he went to the mall, found the car and phoned the RCMP.

“They knew our family and knew my mom, and knew this wasn’t a typical woman who may have went to a bar and not come home,” says Streek.

Donna O'reilly with her Husband

An investigation was launched immediately, with the RCMP calling in additional staff to man tip lines day and night. So far, no new information has surfaced.

Karen and her sister—and at least two-dozen of O’Reilly’s siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews—have descended on their matriarch’s Moncton home, comforting each other, rolling out sleeping bags, and trying to cope. There are voices in the background and a baby crying as Streek speaks on the phone. She says talking the situation over and staying active is all the family can do.

“It comes in waves,” she says. “Everyone’s completely exhausted because no one can sleep. … We’re all just kind of going around like zombies.”

But, she says, the family is far from giving up.

Donna O'Reilly“We all still have a lot of hope,” she says. “We do really, really strongly believe that she is still here somewhere.”

O’Reilly is five-foot-three, weighs 130 pounds, has green eyes and brown hair that reaches her shoulders. She was last seen carrying a purse and lunch bag, wearing jeans and a brown, medium-length suede-like jacket.

Investigators are asking anyone who has information or was at Highfield Square last Friday between 6 and 9 p.m. to phone the RCMP at (506) 857-2400 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).