Pembroke — The family of Katrina Blagdon, who has been missing since December 31 and has deep connections to the Pembroke/Petawawa area, were highly visible during the “Freedom Convoy” protest on Friday at the Irving Big Stop, hoping to raise awareness and ask for help to find their loved one.
The single mom and Canadian Forces veteran was last seen in public in St. Catharines on New Year’s Eve about 6 p.m. According to social media posts from her family, her boyfriend said they went home and when he awoke the next morning she was not there. There has been no cellphone activity since she was last seen in public and her cellphone has not been located, although all her other belongings including her purse, bank card and passport were all found in her home. Her family reported her missing on January 2. She lived in Petawawa for 14 years and moved to Southern Ontario five years ago but continues to have deep ties to the Valley.
Thomasina Plourde of Petawawa is a good friend of Ms. Blagdon, 37. She described her as the mom of “two beautiful boys, 16 and 17, and a veteran suffering from severe PTSD.”
She said since her friend went missing there has been no trace of her.
“No camera has picked her up. Nothing,” she said. “She has bad PTSD. She was in army for 14 years and I served with her.”
The women were posted in Petawawa where Ms. Plourde continues to live. Although her friend went missing in St. Catharines, they wanted to raise awareness locally because they believe she might be in Petawawa or the area.
“Because this is her home. This is our home. This becomes your home after you spend that many years here. I’ve been here 19 years. I was military. I retired and Petawawa is my home,” she said.
The women come from a similar background in the East Coast. She’s from Newfoundland; Katrina from Cape Breton.
“But all her family is in Pembroke, but now they are all in St. Catharines searching for her,” she said.
Ms. Plourde said she feels there is not enough media attention in St. Catharines, so they are doing whatever they can to raise awareness and ask if anyone has seen her or knows anything.
“I think Katrina is scared of something and I think she ran,” she said. “She doesn’t trust anybody. And if she were to run I’m afraid she would come here. I want people to open their eyes here in case they see her. Because she knows we would take care of her here.”
As of Friday, Ms. Plourde had been searching for her friend for 28 days.
Having the Freedom Convoy and the kind of national media attention come to Pembroke was a good opportunity to get more information out about her missing friend, she said.
“This is an amazing bonus,” she said. “I was going to go to Arnprior. If I had known all the trucks were going to stop in Arnprior I would have gone to Arnprior because I have 450 more flyers.”
Katrina’s sister, Shelley Blagdon, lives in Pembroke and is deeply concerned about her.
“I honestly don’t know at this point (what may have happened to her),” she said. “I know she was last seen with her boyfriend and she vanished out of thin air and since then we have not seen her or heard from her. No contact. Nothing.”
Being visible with posters and information about Katrina is important in case anyone has seen her, she said. The stop along the Freedom Convoy was a great opportunity to do that for the family.
“We’re bringing awareness,” she said. “These people are travelling all across Canada so if anyone sees her, if they could call and let us know that she’s okay.”
Katrina’s parents, Shawn Numa and Bonnie Blagdon have been in St. Catharines for the last month and have not stopped looking. Other family members include older sister Kelly, Shelley, Katrina, Katie and Steven.
There is a GoFundMe page to support the family as they are having to stay in rental accommodation in St. Catharines as they search for her and engaged a lawyer to protect her assets. The family has a Facebook page and has been updating information there as well. According to that information the family continues to search in the Niagara area, and public appeals have been made there for assistance as well. Anyone with information regarding the location of Katrina is asked to contact the Niagara Regional Police Service dispatch at (905) 688-4111, dial option 3, extension 1024325.