Parents of missing children spend holidays wondering
MONTREAL - Millions of people in Canada are making special efforts to be with family and friends over the next week, but for about 60 families those reunions will not happen.
22 children go missing every day in Quebec; most are runaways who eventually come home, but others are abducted.
Lilianne Cyr's daughter vanished 33 years ago, and ever since the only thing she's wanted for Christmas was to know what happened to Yohanna.
The girl was just 18 months old when Cyr left Yohanna with a boyfriend or a few days.
When she returned to pick up her daughter, there was no trace of her.
Cyr says her boyfriend told her the girl had died, but never said what he had done with her remains.
"Just tell me where is my daughter. Where is my daughter or where is the body of my daughter," said Cyr.
A police investigation never led to charges, and did not turn up any clue as to what really happened to the girl.
"It's like they forget. Even the police is like... in the beginning it's like she never existed," said Cyr.
Artifically aged photos may help
The Missing Children's Network has created portraits of what Yohanna might look like if she is still alive, and over the years there have been many sightings of women who matched the descriptions, however Yohanna is still missing.
"She's going to be 35 the 28th of December," said Cyr, holding back her emotions.
Pina Arcamone, the director of the Missing Children's Network, says every family with a missing child goes through an ordeal during the holidays.
"There's always going to be that one chair that will remain unoccupied, that one gift that remains under the Christmas tree untouched," said Arcamone.
"At one point we have to give them an answer."
Seven years of waiting
In a small house in Farnham, Francoise Algiers and her family are wishing for the same Christmas miracle.
Seven years ago Algiers dropped her 13-year-old daughter Melina off at a park.
Melina was supposed to meet her mother later that day at a nearby restaurant but never showed up.
"It takes about five minutes from the park and she never came back. We never had any news, anything," said Algiers.
Algiers is angry with the police, saying they let the trail go cold before starting their investigation.
"It's going to make seven years next month, the 23 of January," said Algiers.
Melina would be 20 in January, and Algiers hopes that one day she will know what happened.
"I don't want to forget her."
The Missing Children's Network is asking people to take time this holiday season to look through their website and see if they recognize any of the children.