Honks could be heard from passing vehicles as a banner with the face of a missing Chilliwack mom was installed on a billboard along Highway 1 in Abbotsford on Saturday (March 27).
Alina Durham, mother of 23-year-old Shaelene Keeler Bell of Chilliwack, was visibly broken-hearted as she waved to drivers who honked in support.
Bell has been missing for eight weeks which is “far from OK,” Durham said. There have been no leads in case since she was last seen on Jan. 30.
Durham read a statement after the banner was hung up along the edge of a private property south of Highway 1 in Abbotsford. The banner can be seen eastbound, just west of Bradner Road.
“We are hanging this banner for awareness for Shaelene in hopes that somebody will speak and knows something. There is always someone out there who knows,” she said.
Durham went on to talk about others who have gone missing, saying it’s “not OK as a community to keep allowing this to happen,” and is encouraging people to write to their MLAs.
“It’s sad when our young adults struggle or suffer with mental health issues, often making them vulnerable to the negative influences of society.”
She thanked the community for its ongoing support in the search of her daughter. People have continued to conduct ground and water searches along the Fraser River and in the area of Ballam Road where her vehicle was found.
“I am asking that the community come together for the betterment of another. Please help me to keep the search going for Shaelene.”
The eight-by-four-foot banner that was hung during Saturday’s press conference was a temporary one which was replaced later that same day with a larger, 16-by-four-foot banner. A second banner along Highway 1 will soon be put up near Lickman Road, also in the eastbound lanes.
Bell was last seen on Saturday, Jan. 30 when she left her apartment in the 9300-block of Edward Street in Chilliwack around 8:30 p.m. Her 2021 Hyundai Tucson was found in the 47000-block of Ballam Road two days later on Monday, Feb. 1.
She is described as having bleached blonde hair and brown eyes, standing five-foot-two and weighing 95 pounds.
A local Realtor has stepped up and is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Bell.
RCMP ask anyone with information to call the police at 604-792-4611 or dial Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
There is also an online fundraiser to help with search efforts and to support Bell’s boys at gofundme.com/f/missing-mother-of-2-shaelene-bell.