In the midst of tragedy, a Prince George woman and her family are trying to find answers into the disappearance of Mackie (Immaculate) Basil who went missing more than three years ago.
Throwing a red sweater over her shoulders, Mackie’s older sister, Ida holds close to her heart the hope that one day she will return home. “She was outgoing, fun, loving, she became a parent, worked in the band office and for the school on the reserve.”
Ida says her sister who was 27 at the time, was last seen around 6 a.m. on June 14th, 2013. A forestry worker around Grand Rapids (Kuzche Reserve #5) had spotted her walking along the Leo Tanizul Forest Service Road near Tachie, northwest of Fort St. James. “She was out partying the night before and jumped in with a couple of guys,” Ida said. “They ended up bringing her out to the cabins and that’s where it’s a big blank, we don’t know what happened.”
Now, a Go Fund Me account looks to add to Mackie’s 20 thousand dollar reward to find her. In addition, more than 200 sweaters have been made for distribution, but Ida says a lack of donations means even more added costs. “Now we’re stuck with a 2300 dollar bill so we’re working at getting that paid off.”
Still, family members hold on to that hope by nailing down signs and plastering decals onto their cars. Mackie’s first cousin and community search coordinator, Ron Winser says the search continues year round and continues to remain a struggle. “Just the amount of logging roads and side roads out there, it was a massive effort and took quite a while, just because of the amount of territory, you’re always concerned that you missed something.”
Winser added that the emotional pain is something himself and many others have to deal with each day. “Wanting Mackie back was not only hard on myself being the coordinator, but it was hard on the community itself, because this is something we never really experienced before.”
For now, Ida hopes for more support. “She means everything to us, so whatever people can do to help my family.”
An entire community continues to hold its breath for closure and justice, although Winser’s main message still holds true for his family.
“We just want her back,” he said.
To make a donation, a link to the Go Fund Me account can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/2s9pudg