An Abbotsford woman who has been living in Costa Rica for the last two years has been missing there since Aug. 17, and a search has been underway to try to locate her.
Jaclyn Smith Ferland, 40, went missing from Cacique Hill between Playa Hermosa and Playa Del Coco after returning home from a physiotherapy appointment.
A Facebook page (“Search for Jaclyn”) dedicated to the search includes interviews with and posts from Jaclyn’s husband of two years, Sebastien Ferland, who says that on the day in question she was in mental distress, became angry at him and left their home on foot while he was in the shower.
He said she has left in the past, including taking her suitcase and going to a hotel, but normally returns or contacts him within a few hours.
Jaclyn left with only her passport and wallet, but there has been no trace of her since, including any use of her passport or bank and credit cards.
Community searches – which Sebastien has been active in – began on Aug. 20 and have continued regularly, including beach areas along the coast, mountainsides and the water. The search parties even combed through illegal burn areas and garbage dumps, sifting through the soot and breaking open every bag.
As well, scent dogs were deployed at the couple’s home, but found nothing of significance in the house and vehicle.
Security cameras and Jaclyn’s phone were also reviewed, and no useful information was found on those either, according to the Facebook page.
No taxi drivers have come forward to say that they had driven Jaclyn anywhere.
Jaclyn’s parents, Colleen and Gordon, who live in Abbotsford, and her sister Candice are currently in Costa Rica aiding in the search.
Police, a private investigator and a volunteer search organization are also involved.
Krista Marshall, an acquaintance of Jaclyn and Sebastien, is a former Canadian Armed Forces member who said she took charge of the ground search because she felt not enough was being done.
“This case is so incredibly confusing. There have been zero viable leads … I know from a case last year where a woman went missing and was found six days later that the environment here is very hostile … But how do we find nothing at all?” Marshall said.
There have been some promising tips – including sandals being found in the area and sightings of women who looked like Jaclyn – but none of them have panned out.
Jaclyn is described as “extremely fit and athletic,” 5’ 8”, and about 140 pounds. At the time she disappeared, she was wearing sky-blue flip-flops, shorts and a blue/aqua tank top.
Anyone with information has been asked to call 800-800-0645 or 506-8800-0645.
Meanwhile, the search efforts will continue.
“Someone said this comment and it has stuck with me: ‘A person does not just evaporate,’ “ Marshall said.