VANCOUVER – The mother of a 12-year-old girl who disappeared 40 years ago tearfully told a jury about the last time she saw her daughter and the rudeness of an RCMP officer who visited the family’s home near Merritt, B.C., to take a statement.
Madeline Lanaro says she was driving home with her other children when she honked her horn as they passed Monica Jack on the highway but the girl wanted to keep riding her new bike instead of going with them.
Lanaro told the B.C. Supreme Court murder trial of Garry Handlen that it was the first time Jack had asked permission to ride about 30 kilometres into Merritt, on May 6, 1978.
She says Jack left their home on the Quilchena Reserve and met up with her cousin so the two girls could shop in town together for a birthday present for Jack’s sister Lizzy.
Lanaro says she saw her daughter riding home hours after she was heading to the reserve from buying supplies for an overnight fishing trip and the birthday party but Jack was never seen again.
She says she realized while an RCMP officer was talking to her about her daughter’s disappearance that she was being discriminated against because she was an Indian woman and single mother.