Friday, September 19, 2008

ARTICLE #49) One year later, mother still hopeful

Friday, March 16, 2007
One year later, mother still hopeful
Kamloops This Week by Cassidy Olivier

Although she hasn’t heard from her for almost a year, Glendene Grant knows in her heart daughter Jessica Foster is alive.

And this Sunday, she will continue to honour her pledge to bring “Jessie-Bessie” home safely by hosting a fundraising dinner at the Fox N’ Hounds Pub in Sahali Centre Mall.

“I feel with my whole heart that Jessie will be found and found alive,” Grant said. “Jessie is alive and needs to be found and rescued.”

It was a year ago this month that Foster mysteriously disappeared in Las Vegas, where she had been living with Peter Todd, a man rumoured to be a pimp.

After Foster broke contact with her family in March 2006, Grant hired a private investigator to do some digging and learned her daughter had been arrested several times by Las Vegas police for prostitution.

She had been using the Jessie Taylor. Grant also learned that Todd’s ex-wife – a known prostitute – had allegedly threatened Foster several times.

When interviewed by police, Todd claimed Foster had moved out suddenly and he had no idea where she was.

Despite applying continued pressure on investigators, taking the story to prime-time television and two trips to Las Vegas, Grant hasn’t learned much more about her missing daughter.

But she has her suspicions.

“I have since the beginning felt that she has been the victim of human trafficking,” Grant said. “Therefore, not only do I believe she is alive, but I believe that she is being held against her will somewhere.”

Foster’s case has since been transferred from the short-staffed North Las Vegas Police to the Anti-Trafficking League Against Human Slavery and the Metro Las Vegas Police Department.

“It is the best news we have had to date,” Grant said.

Sunday’s fundraiser, just one in a string of many this past year, is being held to help offset the costs of keeping the private investigator on the trail and increase the reward for information leading to Foster’s whereabouts to $10,000 from $5,000.

Grant is hopeful all the effort will soon lead to a break in the case.

“Stay strong,” is her message to her daughter. “We are looking hard and we will find you.”

The fundraiser will run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday and will consist of a complete BBQ dinner for $10.

There will also be several raffle draws.

For more information, contact Grant at 374-6137.

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