Winnipeg’s Bear Clan Patrol leads search for missing 22-year-old Hailey Bittern

People took to the streets in Winnipeg’s North End on Saturday afternoon to search for a missing 22-year-old woman.

Police said last week Hailey Bittern had last been seen in the city’s St. Vital area on Nov. 17.

But organizers of Saturday’s search say her family hasn’t seen her for closer to a month.

“We want to find Hailey and we want to bring her home to her family and bring her family some peace,” said Angela Klassen Janeczko, co-ordinator for the West Broadway Bear Clan Patrol.

“It’s been a tormenting three and a half weeks for them.… She’s a vulnerable youth and we’re just trying to get her home.”

The citizen patrol group led Saturday’s search for the missing woman.

Bittern was last seen near where she was staying in south Winnipeg’s St. Vital area, but Klassen Janeczko said the group has received tips about potential sightings more recently in the city’s North End. That’s where Saturday’s efforts were focused.

Most of the young woman’s family weren’t able to make it to Winnipeg from Brandon on Saturday, Klassen Janeczko said, but organizers are in touch with them.

Hailey Bittern is described as five foot eight and 155 pounds with a thin build, long brown hair and brown eyes. (Submitted by Winnipeg Police Service)

She said searchers who showed up Saturday included friends of Bittern’s, some of whom are part of the Bear Clan Patrol.

Also among the group was Holly Thompson, whose daughter is Bittern’s second cousin.

“I’m very close to some of the family members I’ve known for many years, including Hailey as a young child,” she said.

“So we’re really all concerned about her safety and well-being.”

Thompson, who has also been a member of the Bear Clan Patrol for two years, said it’s hard to search for someone when it’s closer to home. But she’s hopeful Bittern will be found safe.

“She’s out there,” Thompson said. “I know she is.”

Holly Thompson says she’s hopeful Bittern will be found safe. (Sheila North/CBC)

Bittern is described as five foot eight and 155 pounds, with a thin build, long brown hair and brown eyes, the Winnipeg Police Service said last week.

She was last seen wearing grey sweatpants, a light-brown jacket and tan Ugg-style boots.

Police are concerned for her well-being and are asking anyone with information regarding her whereabouts to contact the missing persons unit at 204-986-6250.