On June 23, 2012, Kim Sebastian began a 260 kilometre ‘Relay of Hope’ walk to help raise public awareness of the search for Perry Sebastian Jr., her cousin who has been reported missing since Dec. 26, 2011.
Kim’s walk started at the Nee Tahi Buhn reserve on Southside of Francois Lake and ended at the Hagwilget Village in Hazelton, the same journey that Perry was thought to be taking, but by hitchhiking, six months ago.
“It took six days to walk the 260 kilometres. We placed a set of Perry’s clothes in his back pack and people took turns walking his back pack home, to me, this walk meant guiding Perry home,” Kim said.
Thanks to determined supporters, the walk started each morning and ended late each day and Kim credits Herb Charlie and Elsie Tom of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation for taking part in the walk each day.
According to Kim, the ‘Relay of Hope’ started with a few people and ended with many.
“It was an amazing feeling, seeing numerous supporters as we entered New Hazelton,” she said.
A $1000 donation was made by the House of Spookw at the end of the walk, which has increased the reward for information leading to the location of Perry to $7000. Hagwilget Village council is also contributing $6000 to the reward funds.
Donations also help the family pay for the ‘Perry Sebastian missing’ road signs that have been erected along the highway from Prince Rupert to Vancouver.
Stickers and posters have also been distributed.
There has been a lot of tips and rumours about Perry’s whereabouts, but so far none of them have resulted in locating him.
“This disappearance is out of character for Perry … he was always pretty good at texting us letting us where he is, or updating his Facebook page. He had his cell phone with him … we have not been able to contact him and there hasn’t been any activity on his Facebook page since the morning he left the Nee Tahi Buhn reserve [on the Southside],” Kim said.
“Perry had his cell phone with him. However, it has been turned off. As far as I know, Perry’s text
and phone messages were not checked by Telus or the RCMP, due to legal circumstances.”
Kim said she hopes the walk will trigger more awareness in the search for her missing cousin.
“The Burns Lake RCMP have been helpful, but we are hoping that the mayor of Burns Lake and local chiefs will also step in … I don’t know if it is because Perry wasn’t local, but there hasn’t been much help from them in creating awareness that he is missing. There has been no combined group effort or assistance from the Mayor of Burns Lake, local chiefs or Carrier Sekani Family Services.”
She said, Cheslatta Carrier Nation provided her family with a place to warm up during their search for Perry and said that Lake Babine Nation gave the family financial assistance at the onset of the search.
“A few local families provided meals and snacks for the family during the search for Perry and Wet’suwet’en First Nation provided financial assistance twice, to assist with the search and to purchase road signs.”
Kim said the last she heard from Perry, he was planning to leave the Nee Tahi Buhn reserve after visiting a friend for Christmas. She said he had left his friend’s house early on Dec. 26, 2012, and planned to walk to the Francois Lake ferry and spend the night in Burns Lake, before hitchhiking home to Hagwilget Village.
“We don’t know if he made it to the ferry, or Burns Lake,” she said, adding that she has spoken to the ferry staff working on Boxing Day and was told that they did not see him.
Perry’s family thinks he would have travelled down Amendt Road, to Tattlerose Road and on to Keefe’s Landing Road to get to the ferry that morning.
“We are hoping that someone will remember seeing him … he could have taken Hamre Road, but that road was snowed in at that time, so it is unlikely that he would have done that. I don’t know how familiar he was with the area, so I don’t think he would have taken any off the track routes …. things just are not adding up,” Kim said.
“I don’t feel that enough is being done … the family has been doing a lot of the searching on our own, but it is a big area to cover. We want to guide him home, wherever he may be … we don’t know …. If any one has information we ask them to come forward, or if Perry reads this, please come home,” Kim added.
Perry Sebastian is a First Nations male, 6’2″ tall and weighs 180 pounds. He has dark brown hair and dark brown eyes and was last reported to be wearing a black baseball cap, a black vest and black hiking boots as well as a faded blue hoodie and navy blue track pants.
If anyone has any information they are asked to call either CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477, Burns Lake RCMP at 250-692-7171 or Theresa Michell at 250-842-8914.
Kim is also hoping local businesses will allow her to put up ‘missing’ posters in their store windows.