Emotions were running high at the first-ever Jessica Patrick Balczer March on Sunday in Smithers
The march was hosted to remember the one year anniversary of the 18 year-olds unsolved death. It began with family, friends and community members gathering at Bovill Square around 12:30 p.m.
There were drum performances and speeches from the Hereditary Chief of Lake Babine Nation, where she was a member. After the performance, the group marched up Main St. To the Smithers Cemetery.
The group laid flowers, candles, and ribbons to remember Patrick. A short prayer was held at the cemetery before everyone met at the Dze L K’ant Friendship Cultural Centre.
Jaquie Bowes, Jessica Patrick’s cousin said the first year of her death has been the hardest on their family.
“We were traumatized in such a bad way, I don’t think anybody will ever understand. We were basically walking in autopilot mode and for all the other families that are being impacted by the missing and murdered. What you need to do is let your heart feel soft,” said Bowes.
Bowes also reminded everyone to let family and friends aware of where they are headed off too.
“Someone always needs to know where you are. We don’t want want to see another statistic out there and I hate to say it but Jessica is a statistic now, but you know what that statistic is going to change,” said Bowes.
Patrick was last seen leaving the Mountain View Motel in Smithers on Aug 31, 2018. Her body was found on Sept 15, 2018, on Hudson Bay Mountain Road.
Her case still remains unsolved.
Police and family members are encouraging anyone who has information to contact Smithers RCMP at 250-847-3233.