The outspoken mother of a Prince George murder victim has fallen silent.
Audrey Auger was relentless in her search for missing daughter Aielah Saric-Auger when the 14-year-old girl disappeared on Feb. 2, 2006. She was relentless in her grief-stricken search for justice when Aielah's body was discovered eight days later, dumped on the side of Highway 16 not far from Tabor Mountain.
She never got those answers and now she never will.
Now, she too has died on the same highway. Auger was the victim of a two-vehicle collision on the northern Trans-Canada road near Nojack, Alberta on March 5. She was 48 years old.
"I'm just heartbroken," said her fellow Highway of Tears justice crusader Gladys Radek. Radek and Auger inspired each other with their separate awareness walks. Auger first marched in 2007 from Prince George to their traditional family home at the Driftpile Cree Nation north of Edmonton. She started where her daughter's body was first found and stopped where she was laid to rest.
Auger then did other walks in subsequent years on other routes. Usually there were support vehicles but often she walked alone.
Radek was the leading force behind several annual walks between the Lower Mainland and Ottawa. She moved to the Gatineau area recently to be closer to national lobbying efforts.
"She fought to her last breath for justice for her daughter, and for the safety of everyone's daughter," Radek said. "She moved away from Edmonton to get away from a man who was threatening them. They went to Prince George to start a safer life in a smaller town, only to have Aielah murdered. It is still unsolved. Audrey went to her grave with no sense of justice."
This year's march will, for the first time, draw in the eastern side of Canada. Radek's Walk4Justice focus will be from Cape Breton to the nation's capital during the summer.
Auger worked to change the moniker of Highway 16's violent, tragic past. She continually referred to it in recent years as the Highway Of Hope.
During the time she planned her first awareness walk, she admitted to fighting a number of her own personal demons. Addiction, relationship dysfunction, residential transience, and spotty employment were burdens she carried. Through dedication of mind and body to the thousands of kilometres walking the grief trail, she embraced sobriety, aspired to return to school, and always glowed with love for her surviving children.
"Audrey never stopped fighting," Radek said. "Well it didn't go unnoticed by me. I'm going to keep fighting for her and for Aielah."