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Police comb fields for teenager
Dogs called out. Hemmingford girl vanished July 11 on way to see friends

PAUL CHERRY
The Gazette
July 21, 2005

Shanna Poissant disappeared July 11. Police suspect she’s dead.


Police in this village near the U.S. border searched along a gravel bike path yesterday for a missing 16-year-old girl who disappeared more than a week ago.

On the evening of July 11, Shanna Poissant left her Hemmingford home on foot and told her parents she was on her way to see some friends.

She has not been seen since.

Poissant’s parents reported her missing the following day, and the local detachment of the Surete du Quebec began an investigation.

Investigators have met with her parents, friends and “anyone who knew her,” said Surete spokesperson Corporal Francois Dore.

“They didn’t find her. But there are elements of our investigation that I can’t reveal here that lead us to think that she is not a runaway.

“This is something else.”

Poissant’s disappearance is on the minds and mouths of Hemmingford residents, and her photo is posted in the windows of village stores.

“She’s a stand up girl. … She’s really nice,” said Stephen Smith, a teenager who lives near Poissant’s home.
Her parents told The Gazette they had been advised by the SQ not to comment on the investigation.

Police refused to say what led them to begin searching the bike path under a blazing hot sun around noon yesterday.

“We would like to find her alive, but unfortunately we can’t rule out a homicide as a possibility,” Dore said.
According to information provided to police, he said, “we can find her somewhere along the path.”

The SQ’s major-crimes division joined the investigation late last week. The Montreal-based unit investigates homicides and other crimes that involve violence.

The bike path, which slices through farms and wooded areas, used to be a railway track. Officers rode on all-terrain vehicles along the woods on either side of the path.

About 20 officers were helped in their search by a police dog and helicopter.

Poissant is about 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 115 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information can contact the Surete du Quebec at (800) 659-4264. Information can be provided on a confidential basis.

pcherry@thegazette.canwest.com

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