Shelley Desrochers, a London woman who went missing one year ago, was honoured by friends and family who held a walk and balloon release in her memory.
Desrochers, 42, was last seen on Hamilton Road on January 5th, 2016. Her disappearance, however, was not reported until January 21st, 2016.
The walk to remember was held on the same street she went missing, finishing up on Maitland Road. Purple balloons were released at the end of the walk, with pictures of Desrochers attached, as they were set free into the air.
One of Desrochers’ friends of 28 years, Penny Drake, organized the event and says she’ll do anything to keep her spirit alive. “I want them to remember everything. Her smile, her laugh, her walk…” says Drake. “My friend is missing, and she has no voice right now. We are her voice.”
More than 20 people marched in the cold, chanting “missing lives matter!” and “have you seen my friend Shelley?” They were nothing short of vocal, and were able to engage cars driving by, honking to show their support.
Cary Meyer, Desrochers’ longtime friend, explains just how important it is to not give up in situations like these. “We are here to honour Shelley, and also to support women who could also go missing,” says Meyer. “They should know that they would be missed. We’re not just going to let people disappear.”
Some speculation of Desrochers’ risky lifestyle lead some to believe it could have been the cause of her disappearance – involvement with drugs and sex work (street or escort service).
At this point, no clues have been given regarding Desrochers’ disappearance. On Tuesday, police released a tip line in the hopes that someone will reach out. Anyone with any information is asked to call the tip line at: (519) 660-5842.