Mother of missing Quebec woman 'very hopeful' she'll be found alive
The mother of a Quebec woman who is missing in Burkina Faso said she’s very hopeful authorities will find her and her boyfriend, “alive and well.”
Edith Blais’ mother, Jocelyne Bergeron, said she felt horrible after learning her daughter and her boyfriend Luca Tacchetto had gone missing in the African country last month. But she said she was optimistic.
“We’re very hopeful that we will find her and her boyfriend,” she told CTV News Channel on Sunday.
In a Facebook group, Blais’ family said she and Tacchetto were driving through Burkina Faso when they disappeared. Their families have not been in contact with the couple since Dec. 15, which was the same day Blais had posted travel photos online.
Blais, who is from Sherbrooke, Que., had met Tacchetto, a 30-year-old architect, in Canada two years ago. The pair were headed to Togo to work on a humanitarian project. They had been scheduled to arrive before Dec. 20.
Bergeron last spoke with her daughter while Blais was in Mali. She described her as being “very happy.”
The couple were on their way to Burkina Faso’s capital of Ouagadougou from Bobo-Dioulasso, the country’s second largest city, when contact between them and their families “stopped abruptly,” according to the Facebook group.
There are no official signs the couple crossed the border into neighbouring Togo. Since going missing, Bergeron said she’s lost a lot of sleep.
“The things that go through your head-- it’s crazy,” she said. Bergeron had already been worried because the couple would have to cross a jungle and would likely lose contact for a few days.
But Bergeron said her family is "very hopeful to find them alive and well."
“We hang on. We have a good team working with us searching for my daughter," she said.
Bergeron says she’s received many messages from people who claim they’ve seen the couple in different places.
Global Affairs Canada has been in touch with the family since Dec. 30 and said they’ve offered them consular assistance.
“Canadian consular officials in Burkina Faso are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information,” spokesperson Guillaume Berube said in an emailed statement to CTVNews.ca on Saturday.
The Canadian government warns travellers to avoid all “non-essential travel” to Burkina Faso, particularly the northern area and its borders with Mali, Niger, Benin and Togo.
The warning is in place because of the threat of terrorism, banditry, and kidnapping.