Portrait of Patricia Favel

The Disappearance of Patricia Favel

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EARLY LIFE:

Patricia “Patsy” Favel was born on February 10, 1966 to Alice Berger and Wilfred Favel. She was one of six children, and her siblings were Gary, Maxine, Alvin, Donny and Sharon. The family were members of Saskatchewan’s Kawacatoose First Nation, located 200km from Saskatoon.

While initially placed in foster care, she was later returned to her parents and grew up a friendly and curious girl who loved learning about people. Known to have a quiet side, she could often be found by herself, reading.

Patricia was the mother of a baby boy, Cody Blue Favel. She and her sister, Maxine, struggled with drug addiction, and the pair turned to the sex trade to support the habit. Her drug of choice was a mix of Talwin and Ritalin – known on the street as “poor man’s heroin” – and she worked an area of Regina known as the “Low Stroll”.

LEAD UP TO DISAPPEARANCE:

When Alice hadn’t seen her daughter for a few days, she went to Maxine’s apartment and spotted her brown 1975 Camaro. When she tried to approach, she waved her off, as if Patricia didn’t want her to come near. This was the last time Alice saw her.

Gary last had contact with his sister on the evening of September 30, 1984. He was in downtown Regina keeping an eye on her and others working the area, as there had been attacks over the recent weeks.

At 10:30pm, Patricia waved some money toward her brother after being approached at the corner of 12th Avenue and Osler Street. Gary saw her get into a smaller Japanese-made car that was either red or orange in colour, possibly a two-door Toyota or Datsun. It was driven by an Asian male.

Not long after this, Gary drove away.

DISAPPEARANCE:

Patricia didn’t return home that night, which immediately worried her family. She wasn’t known to stay out all night, nor leave her son without informing Gary or someone else of her whereabouts.

On October 1, 1984, her family contacted the Regina Police Service, but were told they needed to wait 72 hours to report her missing. As such, it wasn’t until the next day that she was officially called in as a missing person.

INVESTIGATION:

Speaking with the Leader-Post, a woman working the streets on the night Patricia went missing said she’d been approached by an Asian man driving a similar car to the one Gary say Patricia get into, with a Chinese pagoda hanging in the window. When she turned down his advances, he drove toward Osler Street, where Patricia was waiting.

There are rumours Patricia was mistaken for another sex worker known to frequent the Osler Street area and was shot over a drug and gang turf dispute.

Immediately following Patricia’s disappearance, Alice and her husband searched abandoned alleys, dug through garbage cans, drove around Regina and consulted with an elder who claimed to have had a vision about their daughter. Unfortunately, their efforts failed to uncover any evidence as to her whereabouts.

It took the mainstream media decades to pick up the story.

Gary claimed to have not had any contact with the Regina Police Service since the 1980s. It’s believed Alice may have spoken regularly with investigators prior to her death, but this has not been confirmed.

In October 2015, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police featured Patricia during its 10-day campaign to locate some of Canada’s missing Indigenous women and girls.

Patricia’s disappearance is the longest-recorded unsolved case of a missing female in Regina’s history. While there were several leads in the days following her disappearance, none resulted in charges being laid.

Alice was vocal about her belief that investigators could have done more to locate her daughter and bring those responsible for her disappearance to justice.

AFTERMATH:

Alice took it upon herself to raise Cody, until he refused to return from a visit to his father’s family. He did, however, continue to keep in touch with her. He eventually became a member of the Native Syndicate, a gang operating in the Regina area. When he defected in December 2006, he was shot in the upper chest and lost one of his lungs. He later testified against the assailants in court, and the last anyone heard, he was hoping to join the witness protection program.

Maxine passed away due to her drug addiction.

In 2017, Gary spoke at the National Inquiry into Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women during its stop in Saskatoon. Sadly, he passed away three years later, at the age of 61.

CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:

Patricia Maye “Patsy” Favel went missing from downtown Regina, Saskatchewan on September 30, 1984. She was 18 years old, and was last seen wearing a white blouse, blue jeans and grey boots. At the time of her disappearance, she stood between 5’5″ and 5’8″ and weighed approximately 100 pounds. She had a gaunt appearance due to her drug use. At the time of her disappearance, she had curly black hair that had been dyed blonde, brown eyes and a tattoo on her right thumb.

Currently, the case is classified as a missing persons investigation. If alive, she would be 56 years old.

Those with information regarding the case are asked to contact the Regina Police Service’s Cold Case Unit at 306-777-6453. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Image Credit: Regina Police Service

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