Vigil held to mark missing Malakwa woman’s birthday

Canada

A group gathered in Malakwa, B.C., on Friday night to mark a somber anniversary.

Nov. 2 was Nicole Bell’s 33rd birthday. However, for the second year in a row, the mother of three is not celebrating it with her loved ones.

Bell has been missing for more than a year.

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The Malakwa woman has not been seen since Sept. 2, 2017, when she was known to be in Sicamous, B.C.

She was reported missing five days later.

On Friday night, several dozen people gathered outside the Malakwa Cafe for a vigil to raise awareness of Bell’s disappearance and hopefully generate more tips about her case.

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“She’s a mom and she is a daughter and she is a sister,” said vigil organizer Jody Leon.

“Her family would like to continue to ask for the public’s assistance to locate her.”

Leon said she hopes that the vigil also provides healing for the community.

“There is no place for them to have closure; there is no place for them to really talk about this,” Leon said.

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Leon hopes anyone with information, even small details, about Bell’s case will come forward to share that.

Bell is one of five women who disappeared from the north Okanagan and Shuswap area in 2016 and 2017.

Among those attending the vigil was a uniformed RCMP officer, who said he was there for “Nicole and the rest of the missing women… Myself and my partners are all working hard to try and find their whereabouts.”

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