UNSOLVED: No trace of missing Hamilton woman has ever been found
Hamilton's Sheryl Sheppard should’ve been riding high the first couple days of 1998.
She had just accepted a wedding proposal from her boyfriend, Michael Lavoie, on New Year's Eve 1997 during a live CHCH broadcast.
The following day, she spoke with several people, including her mother, over the phone but was last seen publicly on the TV broadcast.
Some time on Jan. 1 or 2, 1998, Sheryl disappeared.
Her mother, Odette Fisher, reported her missing on Jan. 4 after Sheryl didn't show up to pick her up from the train station as she was returning home from a recent trip.
Lavoie, who was living on and off at Fisher's apartment with Sheryl, claimed that on Friday, Jan. 2 he dropped Sheryl off at strip club in Niagara Falls and never saw her again.
Lavoie claimed that Sheryl was a dancer there but the manager of the club is said to have never seen her before.
Numerous ground searches and public pleas for help in locating Sheryl proved fruitless: no trace of Sheryl has ever been found.
The day after Sheryl was reported missing, Lavoie attempted suicide in a storage locker.
There are numerous reports of friends and neighbours of the couple claiming that the relationship was tumultuous and Lavoie had a history of violent behaviour towards intimate partners.
Police have questioned Lavoie in connection to Sheryl's disappearance but no charges have ever been laid against him.
Police say they believe Sheryl was murdered and that her body has never been found.
Fisher, who is now in her 70s, has waged a very public and powerful campaign to seek justice for her daughter.
A CBC true-crime podcast from 2016 entitled 'Someone Knows Something,' breathed new life into the investigation into her disappearance.
Since its airing, a petition calling on Hamilton Police to step up their efforts to find out what happened to Sheryl has been started. It currently has more than 9,000 signatories.
A reward of $50,000 is available to the person who comes forward with information that leads to an arrest (or arrests).
Anyone with information about this homicide is asked to contact S/Sgt Peter Thom of the Hamilton Police Homicide Unit at 905-546-2458.
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