Friday, September 19, 2008

ARTICLE #40) Christmas without Jessica: Holidays difficult as family continues search for daughter

Thursday, December 21, 2006
Christmas without Jessica: Holidays difficult as family continues search for daughter
The Kamloops Daily News by Jason Hewlett

For some families, Christmas is a happy time of the year. For Glendene Grant, it’s a painful memory of a daughter she may never see again.

The last time Grant saw her daughter, Jessie Foster, was at the Kamloops Airport on Christmas Day 2005.

Jessie appeared happy to be flying back to Las Vegas, where she lived with her boyfriend, Peter Todd. Her sister, Crystal Foster, recently told Grant she thought otherwise.

“When Jessie turned around and waved goodbye (Crystal) thought she saw something in her eyes that made Crystal think she didn’t want to go back to Las Vegas,” Grant said Wednesday.

Thoughts like this could be tricks of the mind brought on by events that followed. For three months Jessie was in daily contact with her mom and sisters through text messages, e-mail or phone calls. On March 28 everything stopped.

Since then life has been a combination of sadness, fear and desperation as Grant led a campaign to find out what happened to her daughter.

She has contacted every law enforcement agency in the state of Nevada, attracted the attention of the FBI and TV programs such as Geraldo Live and Global National.

She’s even traveled to Vegas to pound the pavement herself.

Grant’s ex-husband, Dwight Foster, hired Mike Kirkman, an investigator with Las Vegas Detectives. Kirkman learned Todd is a pimp who lured Jessie into the sex trade.

Todd had a lot of money, fast cars and all-night parties — things that lured Jessie into the lifestyle, Grant said.

She said she believes Foster and Kirkman have given up on Jessie being alive. Foster has even started grief counseling, something Grant refuses to do.

“I don’t think that at all. I would need a physical body or DNA evidence before I go to grief counseling,” she said.

“It may be wishful thinking, but I believe a mother would have some sense or something if a child is gone.”

Despite her positive outlook, the last nine months haven’t been easy. Grant admits her quest has caused her to neglect her other daughters.

She wasn’t even going to celebrate Christmas until her youngest daughter, 16-year-old Jennee Grant, told her she had to.

“I told her she had other daughters she had to care for and that Jessie would want her to. It was her favourite holiday,” Jennee said.

Jennee decorated the family tree with twinkling Christmas lights and ornaments. Candy canes are hidden among the branches. A few gifts are piled underneath.

The only ornaments not on the tree are homemade. Most are pictures of Grant’s children. Many of them are of Jessie.

“I couldn’t even open that box this year,” Grant said, wiping her eyes. “I still can’t.”

The family is accepting donations to help pay for the investigator and raise a reward for information.

Anyone who would like to contribute to the Jessie Foster Fund can make a donation at any CIBC branch, transit #00050 and account #98-27412.

For more information, call Grant at 374-6137 or go online at

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