A 25-year-old woman is shaken and her co-worker unnerved after an attempted abduction Monday brought up memories of the 1993 unsolved disappearance of Sherri McLaughlin.
"This is two blocks away from where Sherri McLaughlin disappeared," said Rhonda Downey, of the incident on 12th Street near Halston Avenue. "I did the Sherri McLaughlin walk for years and years."
Taryn Fenelon was walking through the neighbourhood in which she lives and works around 2 p.m. Monday when a white, four-door, 1990s model vehicle began circling around her.
The passenger, a heavy set Caucasian woman in her mid to late 30s who, Fenelon said, looked like "she'd just come out of a rave" with multi-coloured hair, extensive piercings and an arm full of bangles repeatedly yelled out of the car window, "You're beautiful!"
"I've been cat-called before, although never by a woman. I just ignored it and kept walking," said Fenelon.
But the driver, a large Caucasian man with a large protruding beer belly, short salt and pepper hair and bright blue eyes, got out and blocked her path.
"My girlfriend wants to make out with you," he said, according to Fenelon.
Fenelon tried to walk around him, but he grabbed her arm at the elbow, telling her to get in the car.
"I'm not getting in," she told him, ripping her arm out of his hands in a self-defence move she learned years ago.
He grabbed her again, and she ripped her arm out again then ran the 50 metres or so to the Corner Market where she works.
A patron and Downey, whom Fenelon calls her "store mom," convinced Fenelon to call 911.
"It's really scary," said Downey. "It's the middle of the day. There's tons of kids around here with all the schools. It could've been a kid."
Police ask anyone with information contact the Kamloops detachment at 250-828-3000 or anonymously at Crime Stoppers, 1-800-222-TIPS.
McLaughlin was 20 years old when last seen on her bicycle. It and her backpack were found near Parkcrest Avenue and Singh Street but she was never found.