**This story is part of our series examining the cases of missing and murdered women along The Highway of Tears. The Highway of Tears is an isolated 725-kilometer stretch of Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert in British Columbia, Canada. This highway has been the location of many murders and disappearances beginning as early as the 1970s. Indigenous women make up the majority of these victims with almost all of their cases going unsolved and their families still searching for answers. For an in-depth look into this, and many other cases along this highway we recommend reading Jessica McDiarmid’s book Highway of Tears
Alishia Germaine was born as a member of the First Nations in Prince George, British Columbia. Growing up Alishia was known to be an affectionate girl who loved to sing and act. Alishia had what was described as a “tumultuous” home life and she began to act out, especially after her parents separated. At age twelve Alishia fled her family home. Her mother remembered her as a sensitive girl who, although put on a hard exterior as she grew older, was still very soft deep down inside.
A Prince George youth worker recalled Alishia as “tough, independent and someone who didn’t fit in well at group homes or with foster families.” As a result, Alishia eventually ended up on the streets. Alishia’s mother unsuccessfully tried to get her off the streets but didn’t know how. Living on the street, Alishia eventually became addicted to drugs and was sexually exploited.
She got a little taste of freedom and she got in with the wrong crowd. I didn’t know what the solution was, to get her off the streets. I tried but I didn’t know how to help her.Debra Germaine, mother of Alishia Germaine (Highway of Tears)
Near the end of 1994, Alishia was trying hard to turn her life around. She was trying to quit drugs and wanted to return to high school to finish Grade 10.
On Friday, December 9, the Prince George Native Friendship Centre was throwing their annual Christmas party for street kids, who for a day were able to eat a turkey dinner, dance, and receive donated gifts. Around 150 kids showed up to the party and that night a youth worker remembered after dinner Alishia said that she was going to leave briefly with her cousin and that she would return and wanted to know if they could save her a present. Alisha never returned to the party and was never seen or heard from again.
At 11 o’clock that night, three teenagers were walking behind Haldi Road Elementary School, which was located on the outskirts of Prince George in a forested area off of Highway 16. There they discovered Alishia’s body. She had been stabbed to death.
The last known sighting of Alishia alive was on a sidewalk downtown. Alishia was 15 years old and was murdered less than six months after her friend, Roxanne Thiara, another Prince George teen, went missing. Shortly after Alishia’s death, police released a sketch of a potential suspect, but no substantial leads were ever received from it. Police believe they have a suspect, but unfortunately, no arrests have been made as there was not enough evidence to charge the suspect. They are also looking for a female whose DNA was found at the crime scene but have not been able to make any matches so far.
She had potential. We all make mistakes, but it didn’t mean that mistake would be carried into her adult years.Connie Menton, aunt of Alishia Germaine (Highway of Tears)
Since Alishia’s disappearance, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Task Force called E-PANA was created to investigate the series of unsolved murders along this highway, including Alishia’s. The purpose of the task force was “to determine if a serial killer, or killers, is responsible for murdering young women traveling along major highways in BC” (E-PANA website). To date, however, this case still remains unsolved, as do all the cases along the highway included in E-PANA. Alishia’s family is still searching for answers.
All images and videos used for this story are not the property of The Hue and Cry and are displayed for informational purposes only. They are property of their original owners/publications. Photos are from Justice for Native Women.
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