LANGLEY (NEWS 1130) — The community effort to find a missing Langley woman is ramping up, and a family that is all too familiar with the pain and shock of having a loved one disappear is lending a hand.
Forty-year-old Naomi Onotera was last seen leaving her home in Langley City Saturday night, according to the RCMP who have appealed to the public for information. She is described as 5’9″ tall, 150 lbs, with long brown hair and brown eyes. Police have not said where Onotera lives.
— Langley RCMP (@LangleyRCMP) August 31, 2021
A Facebook group dedicated to the search was launched Tuesday, as a way of organizing volunteer searchers and distributing posters. Posts in that group say Onotera left her cell phone, purse, wallet and car at home. She was last seen wearing a black t-shirt with black lounge pants.
Stephanie Ibbott started the group when she noticed there wasn’t a place on social media where people who wanted to help find Onotara could go. Ibbott launched a similar group dedicated to the search for her cousin-in-law, Trina Hunt, earlier this year.
“After all we went through with Trina, we felt like we were really lost in that initial period of time where not only were we dealing with the trauma of what happened and the chaos but we didn’t know where to start, or what to do. We just thought that, now that we have some of that unfortunate knowledge, we should share it with others if they’re experiencing the same nightmare,” she explains, adding she got permission from the family before starting the group.
“There was nowhere for people to turn to understand where they can get posters from, or what areas need to be searched, or what the family needs support with.”naomi
The search for Hunt ended in tragedy when her remains were found in Hope two months after she went missing from her Port Moody home. The death is being investigated as a homicide, but no arrests have been made.
Ibbott says before learning Hunt had died, the online group and community-led searches offered some solace for the family.
“It was just a lifesaver for us, having thousands of people join this group, and step up to help search for her in those first few days and those months. Then those people’s support turned to emotional support for us. They still provide us with that, our online group is still the place that we turn to for comfort in regards to Trina.”
The group started after Hunt went missing is still active, with posts focusing on calling for justice and spreading the word of a $50,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case.
Nearly 1,000 people joined the group in the first seven hours.
“I’m just hoping that that momentum can keep building over the next couple of days, and that a lot of people will show up to help search for her, and she’ll be found quickly.”
Volunteers will be searching Wednesday, with a team meeting at 10 a.m. in the parking lot at Brydon Lagoon. Anyone with information is urged to call the Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200.