Almost a year after Loretta Saunders’ disappearance and death, her photo has been used as part of an ad on Kijiji.

In February 2014, the 26-year-old university student went missing. Months later, police arrested Saunders’ two roommates, whom she’d met through Kijiji.

Since Loretta Saunders’ story is well-known across the country, the use of her picture in this new ad defies understanding for those close to her family and friends.

Lisa Webb is a friend of the Saunders family, and helped search for her when she disappeared. Webb says her feelings about the Kijiji ad mirror those of the Saunders’ family.

“When I saw it my reaction was shock because I didn’t expect to see something like that. Especially, at this time of year.”

The picture used in the ad is the same photo used on posters during the search for Saunders.

“We want it used in a happy way,” Webb says. “Not for someone to have and use to get ahead.”

CTV Atlantic contacted Kijiji to ask about the ad. A spokesperson says the ad was flagged four times in the last 24 hours, but the people monitoring the ads may not have been familiar with the context of the photo.

“We’ll do everything in our power to make sure this group doesn’t do that again,” says Shawn McIntyre of Kijiji Canada.

Since Saunders’ death, rallies across the country have been held for justice for missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Police say using the photo in this way is distasteful, but not criminal.

“These images are widely available on the internet,” says Cst. Pierre Bourdages. “It is of poor taste, but there is nothing there to show actual intent from the poster.”

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl.