Cassandra Wilson hasn’t been seen since April 6, but her spirit was strongly felt during a gathering in her honour at the Henry Leland House parking lot Tuesday afternoon.
Friends and family came together to support each other and renew a call for 41-year-old Wilson to come home, or for anyone with information to come forward.
“Please, we need peace,” said her younger sister Shannon Wilson, who travelled from Edmonton to be at the gathering.
“If anyone has any information of where she might be or if they saw her on April 6 please don’t be afraid, someone will be there to help you. We want to say our goodbyes in a way that we’ve never got to.”
Wilson was last seen leaving her residence at the Henry Leland addiction recovery facility in downtown Kamloops and shortly afterward leaving a nearby 7-Eleven in the early hours of Good Friday.
Police have said they hold out little hope Cassandra will be found safe.
Shannon may be the only remaining sibling of what was once a family of three girls. The youngest, Samantha, died of an overdose in 1991, said Shannon.
However, Cassandra leaves a legacy. Her 23-year-old daughter Sky Wilson travelled from North Vancouver to join about two dozen others in the parking lot, including her half brothers 15-year-old Harly Coombs and 14-year-old Devin Coombs, both Kamloops residents.
Tuesday’s event was especially poignant for the three children who had the opportunity to finally meet one another along with their aunt, Shannon.
The loved-ones were encouraged to write messages on helium-filled balloons, and just before 2 p.m. dozens of balloons were released into the air above downtown Kamloops.
“I wrote that I love her a lot and I’ll try and forgive her,” said Sky through tears. “And just because she’s gone doesn’t mean she’s gone. And we’ll love her forever.”
Shannon’s message focused on what she wished she could say to her sister.
“I said I’m sorry that we didn’t get along as well as I would’ve wanted. I said I’m sorry for all the crap in life, that I loved her and I didn’t judge for who she was or what she did. I knew she was a good person inside.”
Also present were friends who had known her in the street life she led, as a sex trade worker and as a recovering addict living in the Henry Leland facility.
“She was always there for me during the catastrophes in my life,” said Sara Rhodes, a recovered addict who now helps others get back on their feet. “I always thought of her as a guardian angel.”
Anyone with information on Cassandra Wilson is asked to call the Kamloops RCMP detachment at 250-828-3000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.