Police seek public's help finding Indigenous woman missing in Vancouver since September

·3 min read

Vancouver police are asking for the public's help finding an Indigenous woman who has been missing since September.

Chelsea Poorman was last seen in the Granville Street area in downtown Vancouver. Her family says she hasn't been heard from since and there are no clues as to what happened.

"It doesn't feel like Christmas," said Poorman's sister, Paige Kiernan.

"I just feel like I can't really do anything, can't celebrate things, when I don't know where my sister is. I don't know if she's ok."

The sisters were having dinner and drinks on Granville Street the night of Sept. 6, Kiernan said. They went to visit a friend at an apartment at Granville and Davie afterward.

At around midnight, Poorman left and didn't tell anyone where she was going or who she was going to meet, Kiernan said. The sisters spoke by phone after.

"She's just like, 'leave me alone, I'm with my new bae,'" Kiernan said.

"And I was like, 'Chelsea who's there, where are you?' And she still didn't say anything and hung up on me."

There have been no signs of her since, Kiernan said — no indication her phone was used for any other calls or texts, and no sightings. Poorman has since turned 25 years old. It's unusual for her not to be in contact with her family or active on social media, Kiernan said.

Poorman was reported missing days after she disappeared and the Vancouver Police Department is investigating.

In an email, Sgt. Steve Addison said Poorman's case has been transferred to the homicide section and being treated as a missing persons case that requires additional resources. It is not currently being considered a homicide, he clarified.

"Chelsea is vulnerable and her disappearance is higher risk for a variety of socio-economic factors. As such, a more robust investigation is required to determine the circumstances surrounding her disappearance and to hopefully locate her safe and sound," Addison said.

'A really kind and sweet person'

Poorman is Indigenous, and is five feet three inches tall with black hair. She was last seen wearing a grey sweater, black crop top, black jeans and brown boots, with a beige purse.

Her family says she was previously in a car accident that left her with serious mental and physical injuries. Her left arm has faded tattoos and is permanently bent at a 90-degree angle. She walks with a slight limp and has scars on her left arm.

Poorman was planning to attend film school and is a friendly person, Kiernan said.

"She's a really kind and sweet person," she said.

"She's super funny, always trying to make people laugh. Very sweet person. Very polite — she's a little bit soft spoken."

Submitted/VPD
Submitted/VPD

The family has put up posters around the city and hired a private investigator. They are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to her being found.

Kiernan says she just wants to know what happened to her sister.

"This has all just been so hard to deal with," she said.

"This has been so scary and worrying for our family. We have had no leads, and we are desperate for answers. I feel so lost not knowing where she is."

Anyone who with information about Poorman's disappearance is asked to contact police.