Emma Fillipoff went missing from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada on November 28, 2012. She was 26 years old at the time of her disappearance but looked more like she was 18-20 years old. Emma moved to Victoria, B.C. from Perth, Ontario and moved in with a friend and her friends’ partner while securing employment at Red Fish Blue Fish in Victoria. After moving out of her friend’s house, she stayed at Hotel 760 and then at the Sandy Merriman House which was a shelter for women, between February and November 2012.
Emma was last seen around 7 p.m. at the Fairmont Empress on Government Street in downtown Victoria. A couple of hours earlier, she called her mother in Ottawa on November 23, to ask her to fly to Victoria to bring Emma home. She continued to call for the next four days wanting to come home and then changing her mind and wanting to stay, until November 28th when she told her mom not to come today. Her mother was concerned so she flew to Victoria and when she arrived at the shelter, Emma was not checked in for the night. He mother told reporters that those who knew her recounted that she may have had a psychotic episode or schizophrenia.
Over 200 leads have come to police attention, but those leads have turned up little information on Emma’s disappearance. The evidence suggests that she planned to return to Ottawa, but there was no proof that she ever made it off Vancouver Island.
Three of Emma’s friends noted that she was dealing with ongoing stress related to a man she had a bad experience with, in Campbell River, years prior. She never told anyone or her journal about his identity.
On November 20th Emma was captured on the surveillance camera at the YMCA entering and exiting the building four times in 14 minutes. On November 21st a tow truck was arranged by Emma to tow her van from the shelter to Sooke, BC to tow her Mazda back to Burdett Avenue in Victoria. According to the driver she seemed to be in good spirits. On November 25th her van was towed again due to parking enforcement. Her van was taken from Burdett Ave to Chateau Victoria.
The Day Emma Disappeared
On November 28th at 7:00 a.m., Emma arrived at the Chateau Victoria where she saw a notice on her van and was visibly upset. She asked the staff if she could keep the van parked there for one more night and the staff allowed her to park there for the night.
By 8:23 a.m., security cameras inside a nearby 7-11 (Douglas and Humboldt street) captured Emma purchasing a $200 prepaid credit card with her debit. It is noted that she is seen looking out the store windows as if she is waiting or watching for someone.
Julien Huard believes he saw Emma at 10:00 a.m. while riding the bus. She was standing on a sidewalk on Pandora Street, across from Alix Goolden Hall. He ran some errands and then asked Emma if she needed any help. She replied no.
A friend then saw her at Our Place soup kitchen and Emma told the friend that she wasn’t feeling good and couldn’t talk. About an hour later she was again spotted on Pandora Street. She was seen a few more times that afternoon.
By 5:45 p.m., Emma went back to the same 7-11 store and again was seen peering out the windows as if she was looking or waiting for someone. She purchases a pre-paid cell phone from the store.
Emma left the store and went back to the women’s shelter where a staff member told her that her mom was on her way to Victoria. According to reports, this made Emma nervous and she ran off. Staff followed her but subsequently lost her. By 6:10 p.m., Emma called a taxi near the Sandy Merriman shelter and asked to be brought to the airport. Soon after she quickly changed her mind and she said she did not have the $60 that it would cost to go to the airport. She had $2000 in her bank account. She asked the taxi driver to bring her back to where she was originally picked up. The driver noted that her behaviour was off. After hearing dispatch on the radio, she stated: “Why is there noise coming out of that?” She paid the fee with her debit card and left the cab.
At 6:15 p.m., Dennis Quay saw Emma standing barefoot on the corner looking paranoid and appearing disoriented. He asked Emma if she was looking for someone or if someone was following her to which she didn’t respond with much. She kept looking around. Emma invited him to walk with her for a bit but once he started asking her questions she started walking by herself.
At 7:18 p.m. two police officers responded to a call made by Dennis Quay to check on her safety. They talked to Emma for 45 minutes and then decided that she did not pose a threat to herself or others. She walked away, and this was the last confirmed sighting of Emma.
After Emma Vanished
On December 2nd a witness claimed that they saw Emma at Inner Harbour in Victoria. He said that she was acting strangely and told him to remember the name Emma Fillipoff and to repeat her name three times.
On December 5th, at 11:17 a.m., a man driving a white van tried to use Emma’s prepaid $200 credit card at the Petro-Canada station on Sooke Road. He claimed that he found the card on the roadside near the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre (1767 Old Island Highway in Langford) and he was subsequently questioned and polygraphed by the police. He was then cleared as a suspect.
Julian Huard also became a person of interest in the disappearance after sending Emma’s mother strange messages on Facebook. One of the messages stated that he would help Emma build a log cabin in the woods. Police also questioned and polygraphed him, and he was later cleared as a suspect.
A strange occurrence happened outside of a clothing store in Vancouver’s Gastown in May of 2014. Shelly Fillipoff told the Campbell River Courier-Islander that the store owners Joel and Lori Sellen witnessed a man in their store throwing out a “missing” poster. The missing poster displayed a reward of $25,000 for her safe recovery. Shelly told reporters that the man said, “It’s one of those missing persons posters, except she’s not missing, she’s my girlfriend and she ran away because she hates her parents.” The owners reported the man put off a “very creepy vibe” and they notified police of the incident right away. The stores’ security cameras were able to pick up his image. The man was wearing a green t-shirt and jeans and has a tattoo sleeve on one arm. He was walking with a limp, so he may have a prosthetic limb. To this day, he has not been identified.
A dive team from the Victoria Police Department searcher the Inner Harbour but they found nothing.
Emma’s family hired a private investigator who worked on the case for a year but did not come to any conclusions. Link all the hotels and places etc.
Chek News reported in 2018 that a new witness, identified as William stepped forward to report that in the morning of November 29th he had given her a ride to the Petro-Canada gas station on Admirals and Craigflower. Due to the tip, a private search led by Kim Cooper was conducted. The dog-led search covered multiple locations including the Craigflower Bridge, Gorge Waterway, railroad tracks from Vic West to Colwood, the Galloping Goose Trail, Portage Park and Inlet, Goldstream Park and Thetis Lake.
There is a $25,000 reward for Emma’s safe return. If you have any information about her whereabouts, call 911 or the Victoria police non-emergency line at 250-995-7654.
Distinctive Features & Interests:
- D.O.B: January 6, 1986
- Height: 5’5
- Weight: 90-110 lbs
- Eyes: Brown
- Hair: Very long light brown with blonde highlights. She wore it braided into pigtails or she would put it up into a bun. She also likes to wear knitted hats.
- No Tattoos
- No piercings. Ears pierced in the past.
- Visited Central library almost daily.
- Known to have spent hours talking with the homeless.
- Loves the outdoors.
- Artistic and sensitive
- Shy and quiet temperament
- Vegan; Possible eating disorder
- Known to wear dresses but was seen wearing camouflage pants and was carrying an orange purse.
Emma’s mother has set up a GoFundMe account to raise funds to help bring Emma home. There will be more searches in the spring of 2019.
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