10-year anniversary of Jessie Foster's disappearance

By Chad Klassen
March 29, 2016 - 1:12pm Updated: March 29, 2016 - 5:31pm

KAMLOOPS — As a 21-year-old woman growing up in Kamloops, Jessie Foster was full of promise. But one day, she suddenly disappeared, taken to Las Vegas by her boyfriend and forced into prostitution. She hasn't been seen since. 

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"Kids who were 10 when Jessie went missing, they're 20 now, they're almost the age she was when she went missing," said Jessie's mother Glendene Grant. "Everyone is 10 years older, people have gone and more people have come into the world, it is not even the same world it was 10 year ago, and that's the only thing that makes me believe it has been so long."

In her honour, the family has named a star after Jessie in remembrance, and on Tuesday night starting at 6 p.m., there will be a candle light vigil to commemorate the 10-year anniversary.

Jessie was last seen in Kamloops on March 28, 2006. She was officially declared missing by her mother the next day.

"10 months after she was there [in Las Vegas] for the first time, she stopped contacting us, and it was long until I realized something had happened."

Grant hired a private investigator soon after, only to learn her daughter was being abused.

"We found out that she had been beaten up and her jaw was broken, and she was put in the hospital," said Grant. "Then we found out she was forced to work at an escort agency and arrested for prostitution."

While Jessie has never come home, Glendene has ensure her legacy lives on. She started an organization called Mothers Against Trafficking Humans, and in 2014 helped pass 'Jessie's Law,' making prostitution illegal in Canada. 

"Many of us fought to get that bill passed. I was fortunate enought to be invited to testify, and I believe Jessie's story helped pass this law. That's why it's called 'Jessie's Law.'"

Grant still believes in her heart of hearts that Jessie is still alive, somewhere out there. She would love nothing better than to have Jessie come back and see what kind of impact she's made. 

"I want her to come home alive to see it all," said Grant. "I want her to see how much of a difference her name, what her story, has done and meant to so many difference people. I want her to see the new law, Jessie's law, the star, Jessie's star. I want her to see that this was our way of never giving up on her." 

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