The mystery of what happened to Madison Scott, a young woman who vanished from a campsite in British Columbia in 2011, has been partially solved after her remains were found on a rural property near her hometown.
Scott was 20 years old when she disappeared on May 28, 2011, after attending a friend’s birthday party at Hogsback Lake, about 25 kilometers southeast of Vanderhoof, B.C. She left behind her tent and truck, but took her iPhone and keys with her. Police suspected foul play, but no arrests were made.
Her family and friends never gave up hope of finding her and offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to arrests related to her disappearance. Her case attracted national and international attention, with billboards and posters asking for tips and multiple investigative media reports.
Twelve years later, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced they had found her remains “days ago” on a rural property on the east side of Vanderhoof and confirmed her identity with the coroner. They are still investigating the case and have not ruled out foul play.
“This has been a priority investigation for the RCMP over the past 12 years… The discovery of Maddy is a significant development [but] this investigation remains an active and ongoing missing person’s investigation,” said Cpl. Madonna Saunderson, an RCMP spokeswoman, in a statement.
Scott’s family was notified on Sunday and asked for privacy. Her parents, Dawn and Eldon Scott, released a video statement on Friday, pleading for anyone with information to come forward.
“Somebody knows something and someone needs to come forward… We have a recurring image of Maddy sitting somewhere waiting for us to rescue her and we haven’t found her yet,” said Dawn Scott, describing her daughter as a “wonderful, messy, creative, loving aunt [and] sister-in-law.”
“We need your help to find Madison Scott,” said Eldon Scott.
Scott’s friend and hockey teammate Theresa Philips said she was shocked by the news of her remains being found. She said she remembered Scott as a photography enthusiast who loved to take pictures of nature.
“I just thought. ‘OK, she loved to take pictures’… she probably wandered off the trail somewhere to take a picture and broke her leg,” Philips said.
Philips has been running a Facebook page called Help Find Madison Scott to spread information about her disappearance. She said this year they organized a social media campaign with the hashtag #FindMaddy to encourage sharing a poster about her.
She said she hopes the discovery of Scott’s remains will bring some closure to her family and friends, but also justice for her.
“Whoever did this to her needs to pay for what they did,” she said. “She deserves that.”
– Remains of Madison Scott found 12 years after mysterious disappearance from party near Vanderhoof, B.C., CBC News, May 29, 2023
– Remains of missing B.C. woman Madison Scott found, CTV News, May 29, 2023
– B.C. police say remains of Madison Scott, last seen in 2011, have been found, Times Colonist, May 29, 2023
– Remains of Madison Scott found near Vanderhoof police say, Prince George Citizen, May 29, 2023