Sydney community's two-year search for Debbie Hutchinson continues
Nearly two dozen people gathered on Saturday in Sydney to help search for Debbie Hutchinson, who hasn't been seen in over two years. It’s an effort her loved ones are appreciative of as not knowing what happened to her has left them with great uncertainty.
59-year-old Hutchinson was reported missing in April of 2017 – with her burned-out car being found in Cossitt Heights, N.S. shortly after her disappearance.
On Saturday, several members of her family were among the group which set out to search a large wooded area in Cossitt Heights – just a couple of kilometres behind Hutchinson’s home.
"Well, it shows that people still care about her, right?” says John Hutchinson, brother of the missing woman. "I think that maybe she is deceased, but we'd like to get closure, find her and put this to rest – put it to bed – and hopefully we'll just move on with our lives."
Currently, police say there hasn't been enough evidence to suggest foul play and note they've interviewed over 60 people and have also reviewed surveillance video at businesses she last visited.
Family friend, Bucky Walzak organized Saturday's search after seeing a recent social media post from Hutchinson’s daughter.
"It's going to be bones or clothing that we're basically looking for to give an idea if Debbie is actually here in this area,” says Walzak. “It is a big area.”
Police and search and rescue teams combed Cossitt Heights woods in the days and weeks afterward following Hutchinson’s disappearance. Despite no one finding any evidence concerning the case, Saturday's search crew believes the wooded area is the only place she could be.
"It's where the car was found – up in the back there,” says Hutchinson. “The car was taken in there; we know that. It came up here twice that night, and the second time it came in it was followed by another car – so something's not right."
Hutchinson says the family hasn't received any new information from authorities, but notes police were aware of Saturday’s search efforts.
Meanwhile, Walzak mentions Hutchinson’s brother told him a strange story from when he and other family members were searching in a nearby field a couple of weeks ago.
“He said a white dove came down and landed on a little tree in front of them, looked at them for maybe three or four seconds, then flew away,” says Walzak. “So people are superstitious – we are going to hopefully concentrate on that field today."
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald