St. Mary's First Nation appealing for help in finding missing community member

·3 min read
Erin Brooks from St. Mary's First Nation was last seen at the Smoke Shop in the First Nation on the evening of Dec. 27. (@CityFredPolice/Twitter - image credit)
Erin Brooks from St. Mary's First Nation was last seen at the Smoke Shop in the First Nation on the evening of Dec. 27. (@CityFredPolice/Twitter - image credit)

St. Mary's First Nation and Fredericton Police are asking the public for information and assistance in locating a missing community member.

Erin Brooks, 38, was last seen on security camera footage at the Smoke Shop in the First Nation at approximately 9 p.m. on Dec. 27.

Band administration and authorities are asking anyone for recent sightings, known locations or other useful information to assist in finding Brooks.

Allan Polchies, chief of St. Mary's First Nation, told CBC the First Nation has been in daily communication with the Fredericton Police Force.

Gary Moore/CBC
Gary Moore/CBC

Once the chief and band were notified by Brooks' family of her disappearance, multiple groups began work to find her, including the Fredericton Police special investigations team, the emergency measures operations team and the First Nation's own security team.

A sacred fire has been lit for Brooks at the Maqiyahtimok Centre and crisis response team members are available at the centre for those who require further support.

"The sacred fire is a space where we gather to offer our medicines, we pray and we drum and we sing and when we pray and do offerings the messaging goes to the Creator, we ask the Creator to guide Erin back home to us," said Polchies.

The First Nation has also sought out further guidance from the Native Women's Association of Canada.

"We're looking at their protocols and to ensure that the Fredericton city police and investigators are doing everything they're supposed to be doing to assist our sister, daughter, mother, cousin, friend, back home to St. Mary's," said Polchies.

Alycia Bartlett is the public information officer with the Fredericton Police and told CBC the case is still being investigated as a missing persons, with no indication of foul play at this time.

"Anytime someone goes missing, it can be very difficult for their family and friends and their community and so we have reached out to St. Mary's First Nation and to Chief Polchies," said Bartlett, who noted police have ongoing communication with the First Nation to ensure they receive information in a timely manner to share with the community.

"That relationship is important, but we also want to encourage those folks to let us know if they do have any information so that we can locate her and bring her home safely," said Bartlett.

"We know that she does have a lot of people concerned for her, and so we want to make sure that we can locate her as quickly as possible."

@CityFredPolice/Twitter
@CityFredPolice/Twitter

Bartlett said multiple tips have been investigated by police.

"We do understand that not everybody is comfortable contacting police, and that's OK. Crime Stoppers is a great way to share information anonymously," said Bartlett.

Brooks is described as 5 foot 6 inches tall and weighing close to 115 pounds. She has brown eyes and brown hair with bangs and was last seen wearing blue jeans, a black jacket and black boots.

Information can be provided confidentially by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800- 222-8477.

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