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Search for Loretta Saunders, missing SMU student, continues

Saunders, 26, was completing thesis on missing, murdered aboriginal women before she vanished

CBC News

The sister of a woman who disappeared from the Halifax area said it’s unusual for her sister to be out of touch for so long.

Delilah Saunders said her sister Loretta, who is three-months pregnant, hasn’t been heard from since last Friday.

Loretta, an Inuk from Newfoundland and Labrador, is a student at Saint Mary's University. Her thesis focuses on missing and murdered aboriginal women, making her disappearance a surreal irony for her family.

Saunders said she last contacted Loretta on Valentine’s Day via text, but the only reply she received was a brief “Hey.”

“It’s just really strange that she would say ‘Hey’ and not follow up at all,” Saunders said.

Saunders said her sister takes methadone to battle drug addiction. She hasn’t been seen by her pharmacist, her doctor or her professors for days.

“None of it adds up,” Saunders said.

No suggestion of foul play

Saunders is planning to travel from Vancouver Island to Halifax to search for her sister.

From posting flyers to door-to-door canvassing, Sanders said she will do everything to find answers.

“She'd do the same for me. I know she would,” she told CBC News in a video interview.

Loretta has a lot to celebrate recently, Saunders said, as she was getting good grades for her bachelor of arts program. Saunders added that Loretta even received a praise from a professor who compared her work to that of a PhD student.

Police say there's no suggestion of foul play, but Saunders is still concerned for her sister’s well-being.

“It's not an impossibility, especially having heard some of the research,” she said.

Loretta is described as a white woman, five feet seven inches tall, weighing 120 pounds, with straight light brown hair. She is believed to be driving a blue 2000 Toyota Celica with the Newfoundland and Labrador licence plate HCP 543. The car has a loud muffler and a spoiler at the back.

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