Saint-Romuald, Quebec - Marilyn Bergeron, 24, left her parents' home around 11 am on February 17, 2008 ostensibly to go for a walk, leaving all her identification at home besides a credit card. She attempted to withdraw money from a nearby ATM, where security camera footage released later showed her looking nervously over her shoulder. Her attempt to withdraw $60 was declined. Five hours later, she used her credit card to buy a cup of coffee in Saint-Romuald, 20 kilometres (12 miles) from her parents' house.
Quebec City police (SPVQ), who continue to investigate, have theorized that Bergeron committed suicide. Her family, who has put up a reward for information leading to the resolution of the case, believes she may have instead met with foul play.
Shortly before her disappearance she had moved back to Quebec City from Montreal, where she told her parents, without being specific, that something had happened there and she no longer felt safe living on her own.
Due to this, and the jurisdictional limitations of the SPVQ, the family has repeatedly petitioned the provincial Ministry of Public Security to order the case file transferred to either the Montreal police or the Surete du Quebec, both of whom they feel could make more progress; the request has been refused.
In 2017, a friend who knew Bergeron in Montreal confirmed that she had grown increasingly fearful and reclusive there in the two months before her disappearance. He said he had asked her if she had been raped or witnessed a crime. She said what had happened to her was "worse" than that, but refused to elaborate.
Her family said it was obvious something was deeply troubling her. "Is there light at the end of this tunnel?" she asked her sister, Nathalie, over the phone. She said she did not want to return to Montreal again. But she would not say why. "We tried to get her to talk but she wouldn't talk, she would only cry", Nathalie told the Montreal Gazette a year later.
Her mother Andrée Béchard confronted her about what had happened in Montreal that so perturbed her that she had to return home so quickly and leave behind her life there, apparently for good. Marilyn specifically denied that her problems involved drugs, debts, or a relationship. When Andrée then asked Marilyn if she had been "assaulted", Marilyn said nothing.
Many sightings of her have been reported since her disappearance, especially in areas of Ontario just outside Quebec.
▮ According to CBC News, in December night in 2009, a man named Guy Salicco and his wife were sleeping in their Hawkesbury, Ontario home when their doorbell rang and came face-to-face with Marilyn Bergeron.
When Salicco opened the door that night, he said the woman in front of him was "cold, frail, wet" and barely dressed for the weather. All she had was a light jacket, a white T-shirt, jeans and high heels. And she was crying. According to Salicco, she said she was looking for someone in Hawkesbury, and asked if she could come in and use the phone.
He let her in. They gave her a towel to dry herself off and warm up. Salicco said she tried to call someone, but whoever it was didn't answer. Bergeron then turned to them and asked if they knew where Chamberlain Street was.
He did. Salicco said it was only a few blocks over and offered to drive her. "She didn't want to. She said it was only a few streets down the road, so she'll walk," he said. By then, Salicco said she had calmed down and began apologizing profusely for disturbing them so late at night. He said she didn't seem drunk or under the influence of drugs.
About 15 minutes after first ringing their doorbell, he said she left on foot. He never got her name. Salicco said neither he nor his wife thought to call the police at the time, since it just seemed like someone who was lost.
It wasn't until about three months later, in March, that he saw a picture of the missing Bergeron online.
Salicco gave his statement to Quebec police in 2010, but the information was made public for the first time in October, 2022.
Andrée Béchard, Bergeron's mother, said in the years since her daughter has disappeared, new information suggests their daughter may be in Ontario.
"If she has a new life and wants to be left alone, we will respect that," she said.
But Béchard said they're also being realistic. "We may have lost her. But if we lost her… We need to put an end to this nightmare."
This case remains open.
Anyone with information regarding Bergeron's disappearance is urged to contact Quebec City police at 1-418-641-2447, or toll-free at 1-888-641-2447.
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