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Human remains found in Washington not April Parisian

Parisian’s family says they haven’t given up hope on bringing her home
April Parisian’s siblings — Laura Hall, Chad Hall, and Jeremy Hall — say they haven’t given up on finding and bringing her home. Submitted photo

A possible lead regarding the disappearance of April Lee-Ann Parisian has been dismissed after RCMP confirmed to family last Tuesday (Jan. 16) that the human remains, found inside a suitcase at Ross Lake in Washington on October 2023, did not belong to her.

Despite this disappointing news, Parisian’s siblings — Laura Hall, Chad Hall, and Jeremy Hall — say they haven’t given up on finding and bringing her home.

“At this point we know she’s no longer with us,” Chad said. “Her spirit is soaring around there somewhere. And at this point, we just need to continue our investigations and try to bring her home.

“We just want to bring her home, as much as we can.”

Nearly four years have passed since Parisian, a woman from Spuzzum First Nation (SFN), disappeared after being last seen up on Silver Skagit Road in Hope. According to her family, the last time they heard from her was on April. 5, 2020.

Once she was reported missing, a huge search —involving over a 100 volunteers and the Hope Volunteer Search and Rescue — quickly took place as people, drones, and canine units searched the areas of Boston Bar, Hope, Chilliwack, and Princeton.

Despite these efforts, and the continued efforts of her family who continued to look for her each day for months, her body was never recovered.

The search was further complicated, at the time, when Parisian’s fiance — Paris Margesson — was found dying inside her camper, on April. 16, from what police believe was a self-inflicted wound. He later died despite medical help from paramedics. Margesson, who was living in Spuzzum together with Parisian, was the first person to report her missing. Engaged to Parisian since Oct. 1, 2018, her family said they believe that Margesson — who may have had a history of being violent with Parisian — may have been the only person who knew what happened to her.

During this time, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), who were leading the investigation, said they believed that Parisian may have met with foul play. IHIT was also treating her disappearance as a “suspicious missing persons investigation.”

Recently, Parisian’s family believed that they’d gotten the “big break in the case” they’d been looking for when news came to them of a body — of a Canadian — being found on the USA side of Ross Lake on Oct. 12.

In the beginning of January, while going through posts on the Search for April Facebook group, Laura said she came across a comment questioning the remains found at Ross Lake. This led her to a post made by Chris Johnson, on the PNW Fly Fishing Facebook group, that said that his nephew had found human remains in a suitcase — which was found in the lake — while at the Ross Lake resort. In that same post, Johnson said the remains were quickly reported to the resort’s office and on Oct. 13 the body was retrieved by the authorities.

According to Laura, the Canadian side of Ross Lake is located in the Skagit and was one of the few places not searched by volunteers. As such, when Parisian’s family learned about the body and how it had been found, it raised their hopes that it could be her. After some back and forth, Laura said she was able to finally able to get a hold of the RCMP team now in charge of April’s case and waited for confirmation that their sister had been found.

Unfortunately, the siblings’ hopes were dashed when RCMP informed them that the body did not belong to their sister.

“The one thing that leaves us with almost no hope is that the only person who knew where she is, is gone,” Laura said. “There’s no longer a voice to be able to say she’s here. So, believe us when we say, any body that’s found anywhere in the lower portion of B.C., it’s almost like we get our hopes up because we don’t have our sister. And when its (the body) not, my heart just drops.

“She’s out there somewhere. And we don’t know.”

Described as someone with a huge heart and a great love for the outdoors, Parisian was well known and, according to her sister, greatly loved by her communities. She had a fondness for hunting and loved her dog dearly (who, Jeremy said, Parisian would have never left behind).

For her siblings, her disappearance has brought a daily void in their lives that, according to them, can only be righted once their sister is found.

“That kind of feeling is always just there,” Jeremy said. “And deflated as it gets when you get your hopes up, and then all of a sudden its not the way it panned out to be, closure is all you can hope for right now.”

Her disappearance is also heartbreaking, her siblings said, because of how Parisian entered their lives; according to her family, Parisian — who has a different mother — didn’t grow up with her siblings, who are from Quwutsun (Cowichan) First Nation. In fact, despite Parisian having attended the same high school together with Laura, the siblings didn’t know of each other’s existence until 15 years ago when Parisian reached out to them.

Upon learning about her, Parisian’s siblings said they immediately wanted to meet their sister and have her in their lives.

“There was nothing more than we wanted then to build a relationship with her,” Laura said. “And that was robbed. I feel robbed.”

Though their time with their sister wasn’t as long as they would have liked, Parisian’s siblings loved her and still love her dearly. It is this love, according to Parisian’s family, along with the support of their family and friends that has given them the strength to continue searching for her. And as much as they don’t want Parisian’s story to end with their worst suspicions being confirmed, they said that would still be better than having her remain away from the people and communities who love her.

“I constantly find myself looking for signs, like clothing, you name it,” Chad said. “I always got my eyes peeled and it’s always very much in my forefront. I just want to bring her home to give her the proper resting she deserves.”

Despite this recent setback, Parisian’s family said that the search for her is still strong. In fact, their next step, Laura said, is to re-examine a timeline, set up when Parisian disappeared, to help with re-searching areas and finding new areas to search. The timeline details the events leading up to and then after her disappearance and Laura said looking over it might help in finding clues they might have missed before.

Another step they will also be pursuing, Chad said, is to build a second billboard to remind people that they are still looking for Parisian. Chad said the family is considering building this billboard — using money from their first gofundme fundraiser — in Boston Bar, which is an area they plan to do another search. The family is also interested in putting up another billboard in any of the Indigenous communities in the Hope to Boston Bar area.

For those interested in helping the family with their search, Laura said that Parisian’s gofundme page is still active. People can donate to it, and learn more about the family’s search, at . The public is also encouraged to join the Search for April Facebook group.

“I am super grateful for all the followers we have for Search for April as it made us feel supported,” said Deedee Eashappie, who is Parisian’s cousin. “And it comforts us that she still has an impact on people even though she hasn’t been found yet.

“We love the fact that people are still aware of her disappearance and keep looking for her because she is still out there somewhere. Never forgotten and we are always looking till we can bring her home to rest.”

Finally, in addition to supporting the gofundme page and Facebook group, Chad said he also wants more awareness raised about domestic violence and more support given to victims and survivors.

“For April, all the signs were there when she posted a couple times about her relationship on Facebook Live,” he said. “There was something about domestic violence and verbal abuse. And then she would immediately take it down when she was sober and stuff like that.

“If you see the signs or have a gut feeling, act on them.”

READ MORE: Fundraiser underway for April Parisian billboards


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Kemone Moodley

About the Author: Kemone Moodley

I began working with the Hope Standard on August 2022.
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