Community rallies for missing Nanaimo teen Makayla Chang

Six weeks after her disappearance, friends and family of a missing Nanaimo teen are organizing a rally to raise awareness and renew support for her safe return.

Makayla Chang, 16, was last seen  on March 17 in Nanaimo, where she lived and attended school, but despite an extensive search of Colliery Dam Park by police, as part of their investigation into her disappearance, there has been no trace of the teen.

Over the past few weeks, family friend Brandy Mckee, said the attention to Chang's disappearance has dropped off. She hopes a rally set for Tuesday, May 2, will bring the community together and generate leads to help solve her disappearance.

Search for new information

"Hopefully, we can gather some information and spread the word, then everybody at the rally will leave with more information," she said.

The mother of two teenage boys is concerned about the lack of progress in the investigation and hopes this event will spark a larger conversation and bring in new tips.

"This is a daughter, a cousin, a friend, a granddaughter people love and are missing her.

"We want information and we want her home."

Mckee notices how her sons and other teens in the community are affected by it and said they're devastated, scared and are dealing with a lot of unanswered questions.

She recommends that youth stay aware of their surroundings while out, and to make sure they let others know where they'll be, and when possible, travel with a friend or in a group during this time.

"I think the event has given them something to look forward to, something to pass the days."

Members from the community and Chang's family are scheduled to speak on Tuesday, and a prayer will be said by a local First Nations elder.

Mckee has also contacted the RCMP and hopes they will attend the event to address the public about the case.

The rally for support and love for Makayla Chang will take place at John Barsby Secondary, where the teen attended school, starting at 4 p.m.

Chang is described as part Asian, part Caucasian, five feet one, weighing 110 pounds. An RCMP statement said she has short red hair and lip piercings.

Const. Gary O'Brien said the teen wears glasses, wigs and may dress as a male at times.

He said anyone with information on Chang's disappearance should call RCMP at (250) 754-2345 or Crime Stoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous.