By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Sept. 22, 2014
Her family has made peace with the fact that they won’t see Jodi Henrickson ever again, but a question gnaws at them every day: What happened to her?
Five years have passed since Jodi Henrickson went missing on Bowen Island. Police believe she was a victim of foul play, but no one has yet been charged. The family has tried to move on, but they yearn for that elusive closure.
Her brother, Rob Henrickson, says he thinks of his sister every day.
“There is no closure, there can’t be a closure…We know nothing, there was no body, no remains… how can a person just go missing like that.”
Rob Henrickson acts as the spokesperson for the Henrickson family, who have lived in Squamish for over 15 years. Jodi’s disappearance brought pain that rippled through the family and amplified at times by a small town’s searching stares.
There is hope which also revives the anguish. Last year, Jodi’s mom was asked to identify a shoe that didn’t belong to Jodi.
“For the longest time, my mom wanted nothing to do with living in Squamish,” Rob said.
Rob says he also avoided coming back to Squamish.
“I didn’t feel like talking to anyone in Squamish, I was less willing to go out in public,” he said.
And yet, life goes on as they wait for an answer: New officers are assigned to the case, new leads develop and deflate, hope gives way to despair, which circles back to hope again.
Jodi Henrickson came to Bowen Island on June 19 and planned to spend the weekend there. She was last seen on the morning of June 20, 2009, wearing a black leather jacket, long sleeve shirt and blue jeans.
Her boyfriend, Gavin Arnott, was a person of interest in her suspicious disappearance, but there has been no conclusive evidence to link him to her death
He has denied any involvement. He says he last saw Henrickson on the side of the road after a party. They had an argument and she walked away, the last time he saw her.
When extensive searches didn’t yield anything, the provincial IHIT took over the case.
IHIT spokesperson, Jennifer Pound, could not be contacted, but in an interview with the Squamish Chief last year, Pound had said the investigation isn’t over.
There are avenues that still need to be investigated, she said.
Neil Boyd, a professor of criminology at SFU and a Bowen Island resident, said there is still a possibility that the case will lead to charges and conviction.
“Someone may unexpectedly share information of relevance, and that could push the case towards a resolution,” he said.
Her body may also be found and yield useful clues as to who is responsible for the crime, he said. Rob remembers her sister as someone who had a lot of energy, someone people would gravitate towards.
“She was very happy person and had a lot of personality,” he remembers.
He knows Jodi won’t come back ever again, but there is a hope that lingers in his heart that someone someday will come forward and reveal her whereabouts.
“Someone knows about this on Bowen Island,” he said.
“It’s impossible for someone to simply vanish.”