For a year, the memorial stone lay where it was left by a grieving family, in a serene and peaceful spot overlooking a marsh in woods off Rossmore Lake Road.
For 30 years before that, Kay and Mingay Killam, a former owner of Galloway-Ellis Pharmacy in Kamloops, enjoyed their family cabin at nearby Lac Le Jeune with children and grandchildren.
When the couple died within a few months of one another, their family scattered their ashes on a grassy knoll above the marsh, just as their loved ones requested. Their daughter, Janis Killen Ottem, and granddaughter created a marker - a hand-engraved stepping stone decorated with inlaid glass.
Killen Ottem would make regular visits to the site, which was not in plain view. When she last visited, the stone was gone.
"It was a real shock, I have to tell you," she said on Sunday. "I go up there fairly often and hike up there, and it's at a spot that's really out of the way."
Not only that, the stone must have weighed about 25 kilograms, a lot of concrete to heft out of the bush for an object of purely sentimental value.
Pine beetle wood salvage has brought more people to the area, Killen Ottem figures. Yet she'd planted perennials at the site, none of which was disturbed.
"It's a bit of a mystery."
Killen Ottem wrote a letter to The Daily News, not necessarily hoping to have the stone returned, but to offer a lesson to those who would interfere with personal memorials. She figures the stone may have been removed by young people who lacked the benefit of experience to tell them it was a hurtful misdeed.
"If just thought, well, I'm going to write of the experience to kind make people think before they do something like this."
The area is covered in snow now, but the family plans to replace the stone with another next spring. It plans to camouflage it better next time, though.
"I guess I tend to be trusting by nature."
She hasn't entirely ruled out the possibility that the stone might be returned or recovered.