Solidarity Paddle Helps in Healing Process For One Participant

John Crawford

A participant in Friday's Solidarity Paddle on Tyhee Lake near Telkwa was also one of the people who had found the body of a missing Smithers woman last month -- and he says the event served as an important part of his own healing process.

Tony Mitchell and his wife were helping in the search for 18-year-old Jessica Patrick -- also known as Jessica Balzcer -- in mid-September and decided to check out an area near a pullout along the Hudson Bay Mountain Road.  

He says they had hoped to eliminate the spot as a possibility -- and were horrified to actually find her remains there.

"It was horrible -- we didn't want to find her, not that way, and it was very emotional, traumatizing...  It was a terrible, horrible darkness what happened to Jessica, and we needed to bring back the light into our life because the darkness really effected us," he said.


[PHOTO:   Tony Mitchell -- CFTK-TV]

Police continue to investigate Patrick's death -- but haven't revealed how she died.

Friday's Solidarity Paddle was organized by the Dze L K’Ant Friendship Centre Society in Smithers.

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