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Vigil planned to mark five years since Emma Fillipoff's disappearance
It's a sombre anniversary for one of the highest-profile missing persons cases Victoria has ever seen.
Emma Fillipoff went missing without a trace five years ago this Tuesday.
Her mother, Shelley, is now back in B.C.'s capital to remind the public her daughter is still missing – and the family is still without answers.
Fillipoff, then 26 years old, was last seen on the night of Nov. 28, 2012 walking near the Empress Hotel.
That night, a man reported seeing Fillipoff holding her shoes and said she seemed confused and disoriented, so he called police.
Officers caught up to Fillipoff and spoke with her for 45 minutes before determining there was no reason to apprehend her, then let her go on her way. It was the last time she was ever seen.
"Absolutely no closure at all. We really do not know. She literally vanished and her trail went cold," said Shelley Fillipoff.
Asked whether she believes her daughter is still alive, Shelley struggles for an answer.
"Another difficult question," she says. "The hope in my heart says she's alive. It's kind of a 50-50."
Shelley launched an exhaustive search for her missing daughter, offering a reward of $25,000 for anyone who could help find Emma – but in the weeks and years to follow, despite a few reported sightings, her disappearance remained a mystery.
It's a mystery that has triggered documentaries, online articles and now a podcast called "Emma Fillipoff is Missing," hosted by Jordan Bonaparte,
Bonaparte says there are three major theories out there as to what happened to Emma Fillipoff: She ran away, took her own life, or she was – or still is – the victim of a crime.
"She was certainly weak, mentally and physically, and someone who wanted to do harm to an attractive young woman would've found an easy target in Emma," he says. "A part of me believes that something bad happened to her that night."
Shelley Fillipoff is now back to where the nightmare began, with a walking vigil planned Tuesday night to commemorate the five-year anniversary of her daughter's disappearance.
The vigil is planned for just after 7 p.m. in front of the information centre in Victoria's Inner Harbour.
Anyone with information on Emma's disappearance or whereabouts is asked to call Victoria police at 250-995-7654, their local police department, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
With a report from CTV Vancouver Island's Chandler Grieve