SOLVED: Murder Of Socially Outgoing Barbara Jean Maclean

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UCF #104200049

Five Decades Later, No Clues To What Happened To Virginia Sampare


Jean Sampare
INDIGENOUS

Jean Virginia Sampare

Gitsegukla, British Columbia — 18-year-old Jean Virginia Sampare was last seen by Alvin (her cousin) on Highway 16 outside Gitsegukla on October 14, 1971. He left her alone as he cycled home to get a jacket, and she was gone when he returned.

Sampare worked at the Royal Packing Company salmon canning plant in Claxton and was described as a healthy, normal 18-year-old woman.

Growing up, Sampare was described as a shy, quiet child who sang teasing songs to her siblings. She loved to play "nurse" with her siblings and would take turns with Winnie being the nurse.

Her siblings are Anne, Winnie, Sandra, Virginia and Rod, with Sandra being the youngest. She attended high school in Hazelton, BC. When she was older, she worked in a cannery and as a caretaker for her siblings.

Sampare would often let someone know of her plans, and it was out of character for her to leave unannounced.

Winnie Sampare says her sister, Virginia, whom she calls Ginny, was hanging out with their cousin, Alvin on Highway 16, looking over the Gitsegukla River in B.C. before Alvin saw her for the last time.

"Sometimes I wonder if she got thrown over the side of the hill and into the water," Winnie Sampare said.

"I'm always thinking... 'Are you in a ditch somewhere?'"

She lived with her parents in Gitsegukla. Rod described their parents as very strict and watchful; the children were not allowed to play after 9 and their parents made them work hard.

Sampare was planning to move to Terrace with Rod later in the month that she went missing. Despite the police and local community searching nearby areas for her for the 8 days following her disappearance, their efforts proved unsuccessful.

RCMP investigators and community members looked for Virginia Sampare for eight days after she went missing. There are still no clues to what happened to her.

She has not been seen since.

Virginia Samapare
Hightway 16 known as The Highway of Tears refers to a 724 km length of Yellowhead Highway 16 in British Columbia where many women (mostly Indigenous) have disappeared or been found murdered.

There is no public record regarding the items which Sampare had taken with her when she went missing. Though it was a cold night, she had left her jacket at home.

On October 16, the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) took a missing person's report from Sampare's mom. The RCMP checked with Anna, Winnie, and Sampare's friends and other family and confirmed that no one had made contact with her since she was last seen by Alvin.

Despite multiple theories surrounding what could have led to her disappearance, there has been no conclusive evidence to back any of them up. The police never found any leads or further information that was ever released to the public.

Shockingly enough, Sampare's boyfriend, who also had worked at the canning plant, also had gone missing shortly before she disappeared. His remains were found just after her disappearance. He had drowned in the Skeena River.

Matt Northway

Matt Northway

See more Case Files contributed by Matt Northway.

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