Family of Kendara Ballantyne seeking justice 1 year after remains found

By | August 12, 2020

The family of Kendara Ballantyne still wants justice for the young woman one year after her body was found. 

Around 100 people marched in The Pas on Thursday to mark the one-year anniversary of the discovery of Ballantyne’s remains, near the University College of the North campus.

“It’s really hard, because she was a very big part of our family and she brought so much joy with her, and she loved everyone that she came in contact with,” said Gloria Ballantyne-Packo, Ballantyne’s sister.

Ballantyne’s family says they are in regular contact with the Thompson RCMP major crimes unit, which is handling the investigation. Although no new details have been announced in the case, the family is hopeful someone will come forward with information. 

“It’s got to be hard for whoever is responsible for this, to carry this with them,” said Desirae George, Ballantyne’s cousin. “So we hope that people will start to talk and come forward and not to be scared.”

Friends and family held a march through The Pas on Thursday to mark one year since the discovery of Ballantyne’s remains. (Graeme George)

Several Indigenous leaders came out for the march, including Sandra DeLaronde, co-chair of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Coalition of Manitoba, and Christian Sinclair, Onekanew of Opaskwayak Cree Nation.

The family says events like last week’s march serve as a reminder to people that Kendara was not just a statistic, that she was loved and cared for.

“We want people to continue to keep sharing about her and to kind of help us grieve in a way because the more people share … like we know that there are people out there who are mourning with us,” said Lorraine Packo, Ballantyne’s aunt. 

The march passed by this graffiti under a bridge in The Pas, calling for justice for Ballantyne. (Gloria Ballantyne-Packo)

Ballantyne’s remains were found Aug. 6, 2019. The cause of death has not been released to the public. 

The 18-year-old had been reported missing, and was last seen in the afternoon of July 18, 2019, walking down Cathedral Avenue in The Pas.

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