'Please call home:' A year after his disappearance, Brandon Sakebow's family continues to search

·2 min read
Brandon Sakebow sits with his mother Laurie Sakebow. Brandon's family knew something was wrong when he stopped calling his mother after March 20, 2020. (Submitted by Laurie Sakebow - image credit)
Brandon Sakebow sits with his mother Laurie Sakebow. Brandon's family knew something was wrong when he stopped calling his mother after March 20, 2020. (Submitted by Laurie Sakebow - image credit)

Brandon Sakebow, a 23-year-old Indigenous man from Saskatchewan, was last seen leaving the RCMP detachment in Mission, B.C. on March 21, 2020.

He had texted his mother Laurie Sakebow the day before, on the 20th. She has not heard from him since.

"He is really close with his mom," said Debra Sakebow, Brandon's aunt. "That's why we found it really unusual for him not to call, because he's always in contact with his mom. He would always try to find a way to get to a phone and message her somehow.

"And when Laurie's birthday came around on March 25th last year and he didn't call, that's when we decided to make a missing person report."

In the last year, Sakebow's family has made many trips to B.C. to look for him, but they have not found any more information.

"We've been talking the streets of Hastings, Surrey, Mission, Langley and Maple Ridge," said Debra. "We went and checked all of those places, going around, hanging flyers. I believe we went over there eight or nine times in the last year. And we're going to hopefully continue doing that once COVID starts slowing down a little bit.

"It's really hard living so far away. We want to search every day, but we can't, because … we live two provinces away."

On Saturday Sakebow's family hosted an awareness walk and candlelight vigil outside of the Spiritwood RCMP detachment. Debra says they would have done the walk in B.C. if not for the pandemic — but with case numbers rising, they are staying close to home.

Debra says any information, tips or support to come from Saturday's walk would help Brandon's mother Laurie, who is "so emotional, not hearing from her son for so long." Laurie has also been trying to raise money through GoFundMe for more trips to B.C. to search for her son.

Before he disappeared, Brandon was on parole after serving time in federal prison.

He was living in a halfway house in Abbotsford and had a job as a rebar worker, but after a fire displaced all the halfway house's residents in early March, he started asking his family if he could come back home to them.

After he went missing, the RCMP said his cell phone, bag and clothes were found in a stolen van in Abbotsford a few days later.

Debra describes her nephew as a young man with "a big heart" and hopes the family can get a message to him, wherever he may be.

"We just want to tell him we miss him and we love him, and please call home," she said.