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Missing Northern B.C. woman found dead

Vanderhoof RCMP are reporting that Chelsey Quaw has been found deceased
Missing Saik'uz member Chelsey Quaw Heron.

The Vanderhoof RCMP is reporting that missing person Chelsey Quaw has been found dead. She was found in a wooded area on the Saik’uz Reserve.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting a parallel investigation and is actively investigating the cause of death.

“Chelsey had the most amazing spirit, beautiful strength and independence. Most importantly, she had an incredible impact on those in her life. We will not rest until we get answers," said Pam Heron, Quaw's mother in a statement released by the family.

“The RCMP has been in contact with the family. We offer our condolences to Chelsey’s family and friends,” said RCMP media spokesperson Madonna Saunderson in a news release.

Mounties say no further information is available at this time but more details may be released as they become available.

“Chelsey was a beautiful soul that was taken from us too soon,” said Mary Teegee, CSFS Executive Director of Child and Family Services in the statement. “We need to ensure that something like this never happens again. There are 33 Highway of Tears Recommendations and 231 Calls for Justice that need our action now.”

Saik’uz First Nation and Carrier Sekani Child and Family Services recently hosted a press conference in Vanderhoof on Friday, Nov. 3 asking for more information and action to find Quaw and another missing community member Jay Preston Raphael.

Saik’uz Chief Priscilla Mueller spoke at the conference, which was broadcast online. 

“We’re calling on further response from the RCMP, and for additional community volunteers and resources to be deployed in the response for the search,” said Mueller at the conference. “We also want to bring awareness, of course, to the murdered and missing indigenous women, girls, and men all across Highway 16.” 

Chelsey was 29 years old, with brown hair and brown eyes, and had disappeared from Saik’uz in the early hours of October 11 and was last seen wearing blue jeans and a purple winter jacket. 

The Heron-Quaw family said it would like to thank the Nechako Search and Rescue Team; Saik’uz Chief, Council and community; Stellat’en Chief, Council and community; Carrier Sekani Family Services; the RCMP; all the volunteers; and everyone who has provided their support in the search. 

The family said they would also like remind everyone that Jay Raphael is still missing and supports all search efforts to bring him home.