Jessica Patrick, who also used the last name Balczer, was a member of the Lake Babine Nation. She did not have an easy childhood growing up. At the age of seven, her family was split up and she was placed into foster care. For the next several years she moved between foster homes and her extended family. At the age of 14, Jessica was finally placed back with her father.
Her father remembered her as “happy, vivacious and spiritual,” a girl who was outgoing, who believed in Jesus, loved Marilyn Monroe, and makeup. Despite all her struggles growing up, Jessica’s cousin Jacquie Bowes also remembered her as bubbly and goofy and someone who loved her family.
She’s been in survival mode her whole entire life. She never let other people in on her misery. She was always trying to uplift others.Jacquie Bowes, cousin of Jessica Patrick Balczer
At the age of 17, Jessica had a daughter named Alayah. The two were inseparable and Jacquie recalled, “her daughter was the diamond in her eyes. She wanted to give her daughter the life that she didn’t have.”
On August 31, 2018, Jessica gave her daughter Alayah a long hug goodbye before she left for the night. She planned on going to a party at the Mountain View Motel with friends, while her grandmother watched over Alayah. When she did not return to pick up her daughter that night or the next day, her family reported her missing.
The last known sighting of Jessica was the night of August 31 at the Mountain View Motel located on Highway 16. There was a large party at the motel and police were eventually called in to handle a fight.
Police initially told family members that Jessica was probably out partying with friends and that she would return soon. Feeling that police were not taking the case seriously enough, Jessica’s family conducted their own search party. Family members spent several days driving between towns and putting up posters, looking for any signs of Jessica. On September 6, police finally put out a news release on her.
A lot of people just thought she was out partying, but that wasn’t the case. Not Jessica. She always stayed in touch with her daughter. She always found Wi-Fi”.Jacquie Bowes, cousin of Jessica Patrick Balczer
On September 15, family members were searching the top of Hudson Bay Mountain when they spotted a body 15 meters down on a slippery embankment. The body was found next to a discarded washing machine. Long dark hair covered her face and she was in the clothes that Jessica had worn that night: a white tank top and ballerina flats. Police later confirmed that the body belonged to Jessica.
RCMP have stated that this is still an active case and they are looking into any leads, although family members feel they are doing most of the work themselves. To date, no arrests have been made.
Why aren’t they doing anything anymore? It is hard for all of us knowing if we will get justice or not.Floyd Hyzins, husband of Jessica Patrick Balczer’s sister
If you have any sort of information regarding this case, please contact the Smithers RCMP at 250-847-3233, or leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
The stench of death On Canada’s Highway of Tears
2 years after a young mother died near the Highway of Tears, her family vows to find answers
Jessica Patrick’s family still looking for answers
Jessica Patrick is laid to rest in Smithers today
Jessica Patrick’s Family Found Her Body. Now They Want Answers from Police
Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference, and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls