To recognize the 30th anniversary of Nicole Morin’s disappearance, the Toronto Police Service held a walk, run and candlelight vigil at Centennial Park.
Almost 150 TPS members, their children and community members participated in the walk and run, which helped raise close to $4,000 for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
Lindsay Lobb, of MissingKids.ca, spoke at the event, thanking Toronto Police for their leadership in child protection, but reminded everyone in attendance that they, too, may have a role to play in helping save a child.
“Any one of you could be that person who sees that child, who hears that piece of information,” said Lobb.
“Nicole and other missing children are not just a face on a page. These children are loved, they have parents, grandparents, friends, siblings, community members and classmates who miss them and are still missing them,” said Lobb. “These families don’t move on, they do not grieve, they have no answers… and that is why we are here , why we are dedicated to finding them…to give families hope because they won’t give up on finding their children and that is why you guys are here,” added Lobb.
We can only imagine the agony the family continues to endure, the pain of their loss and the unknown
Retired Police Detective Deb Vittie-Pagliaro, who worked closely with the family of Holly Jones who was abducted and killed in 2003, said that the Nicole Morin case was similar because both girls went missing while leaving their homes.
“The impact of both tragedies has been far-reaching and longstanding. In Holly Jones’ case, the family did receive the horrific closure of her unimaginable fate, Nicole’s family did not receive that same closure but we can only imagine the agony the family continues to endure, the pain of their loss and the unknown,” said Vittie-Pagliaro.
Maddy Smart-Reed, 15, was the first person to finish the five-km run in 19 minutes and 44 seconds. She said she participated because of the connection her mother felt towards Nicole’s disappearance.
“My mom told me about it… the day that Nicole went missing they went down her street and everyone was looking for her. She said she thinks about it a lot and wanted me to participate,” said the teenager.
Smart-Reed’s friend, 17-year-old Lindsay Tramble, was a just a few seconds behind. For Tramble, it was important to participate because she wanted to help raise awareness in cases of missing children. While she was very young when Holly Jones went missing, Tramble says she lived close to the area and remembers police coming down her street and looking for Jones.
Constable Patty Retsinas was one of the many Service members who helped organize the run and it was important for her to let people know the case was still open.
“(Nicole) was never found and neither was the abductor or abductors… and it’s very close to people’s hearts. The case is still open and we hope that, with the awareness we are creating through the event, information will keep on coming in and the case will be solved one day.”
Councillor Stephen Holyday was also present and took part in the walk with his three children and wife. Holyday said that, if it wasn’t for a highway dividing his home and Morin’s home, they two could have been classmates.
“I remember volunteers looking and asking about Nicole. As a child, that is something you don’t forget,” said Holyday.