The Disappearance of Betsy Owens

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Betsy Rosa Owens was born on July 7, 1973. A member of the Pauingassi First Nation, she was close with her sisters, Caroline Owens and Valerie Leveque, and loved swimming with them in Fishing Lake, the body of water that surrounds the community.

According to her family, Betsy was a nice girl who went out of her way to avoid trouble. She loved music, and at the time of her disappearance was a big fan of “Manic Monday” by The Bangles.


On the evening of October 22, 1988, Betsy planned to attend a local dance with her boyfriend. Before going to the event, she played volleyball with friends at the local school.

Betsy and her boyfriend left the dance around 11:00pm. The last time he saw her was the next morning, when she left his house.


Local community members conducted searches for Betsy immediately following her disappearance, but were unable to turn up any evidence. Subsequent searches conducted by law enforcement in 1996 and 1997 drew the same result.

In 2013, Caroline provided investigators with samples of her DNA, should her sister’s remains be located.

Each year, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police hosts a week-long campaign in recognition of National Missing Children’s Day. Betsy’s disappearance was one of the cases featured in May 2019.

According to Joe Owens, Valerie’s common-law spouse, law enforcement rarely makes visits to Pauingassi First Nation, with the lead investigator’s last one occurring during the summer of 2014. Owens would like him to make monthly visits and organize a proper search of Fishing Lake.

Over the years, rumours have circulated around the community, with the majority of residents believing they know who is responsible for Betsy’s disappearance. The lead investigator on the case suspects foul play is involved, but states there isn’t enough evidence to make any arrests.

As of publishing, Betsy’s family has not been told if there are any new leads in the case.


Betsy’s parents have since passed away.


Betsy Rosa Owens went missing from Pauingassi First Nation, Manitoba on October 23, 1988. She was 15 years old, and was last seen wearing a white cotton hooded sweater, a blue denim jacket, blue denim jeans and white high-top runners. At the time of her disappearance, she had a slender built, standing at 5’3″ and weighing 119 pounds. She has long black hair and brown eyes.

Currently, the case is classified as a missing persons investigation. If alive, she would be 48 years old.

Those with information regarding the case are asked to contact the Winnipeg detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at 204-983-5461.

Image Credit: Royal Canadian Mounted Police

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