Search at Nanaimo park linked to missing teen, Mounties say
Search and rescue crews focused their efforts on a Nanaimo park on Sunday in connection to a missing 16-year-old girl who hasn’t been seen in more than two weeks.
RCMP wouldn’t say what led them to Colliery Dam Park or what they are searching for, only that it’s connected to the Makayla Chang investigation.
“We can confirm it is part of the Makayla Chang investigation,” said Const. Gary O’Brien. “We are utilizing SAR under the direction of the RCMP to search the area of Colliery Dam. There is nothing to indicate she may be there, we are just being thorough in our investigation.”
The Nanaimo teen was last seen on March 17th in the Harbour City.
Mounties say Chang may be with an acquaintance, 53-year-old Steven Michael Bacon.
Officers searched Bacon’s Nanaimo basement suite on Friday and wouldn’t elaborate if anything was found.
The man who rents the house on Bruce Avenue and sublets a unit to Bacon did not want to be identified. He told CTV News Bacon wanted to adopt Chang and often let her spend the night on his couch.
Chang’s friends say they are concerned for her well-being.
“All she was saying was how he was a dad figure, because she never grew up with her dad around,” said Kelly-Anne Dorey. “I thought that was a little weird at first because usually that's a sign, someone's trying to be your dad, and I was like you need to be careful who you hang out with."
Another friend says it’s unlike Chang to be out of contact for this long.
"Even if she's afraid to come back to her family or her friends and explain why she ran away [...] that she shouldn't be afraid and that we're all just looking out for her and hope she's ok,” Lauren Murray said.
Chang is described as 5’1”, 110 pounds, with light skin and short dyed red hair. She wears glasses and has piercings in her lip and above her upper lip. The teen also wears wigs and may dress as a male at times, officials say.
Bacon is 5’10”, 209 pounds, has a short white buzz cut, thick white goatee, a teardrop tattoo under his left eye and a tattoo on the back of his right hand.
Anyone with information is asked to contact 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.