Lois Hanna wearing a white t-shirt + Close-up of Lois Hanna's face

The Disappearance of Lois Hanna

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Lois Hanna was born on February 3, 1963 to Olive and Ernest. She was one of four sibling, with she and her brothers – Jim, John and Dave – growing up on the family farm in Holyrood, near Kincardine, Ontario, Canada.

The radiant young woman was raised to be sensible and self-sufficient, and she wasn’t afraid to show her fun side. She also had a keen interest in fashion, spurred on by her winning two local beauty pageants and being named the runner up at the Miss CNE competition in Toronto. She wanted a career in the field and attended the Fashion Studies program at Fanshawe College, after which she got a job as a fashion consultant.

Lois was incredibly close to Olive and became even more so after her father’s passing in March 1988; his death prompted her to spend even more time with her mother.


Lois attended the Celebrate In ’88 festival at Lucknow Arena in Lucknow, Ontario on the evening of July 3, 1988. The weekend-long celebration of the community’s 130th anniversary was closing out with a dance, and she and Dave decided to partake in the festivities.

Lois approached her brother at 11:45 PM, to inform him she was heading home, as she didn’t want to be late for work the next day. She made the short drive to her residence at 286 Nelson Street, in Kincardine, arriving by 12:15 AM.


Despite Lois having been concerned the previous night about being late for her shift at MacG’s, she didn’t show up that morning. Typically one for punctuality, this concerned her co-worker, who alerted another colleague to the 25-year-old’s absence.

Lois’ colleague decided to drive by her house and check on her. When no one answered the door, the woman, fearing she was sick, climbed through an unlocked window. No one was there, prompting the co-worker to contact Dave, who immediately called the now-defunct Kincardine Police Department.

An officer arrived on-scene, but took the attitude that Lois had simply gone off somewhere and would return soon. Dave wasn’t convinced and organized a search party consisting of dozens of family friends. Using all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles, they scoured local properties and went door-to-door. They even equipped themselves with divers and two aircraft. As the search continued into the night, the manager of the local Canadian Tire re-opened the store, so they could equip themselves with spotlights.

Without any sign of his sister, Dave announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to Lois’ whereabouts. Nothing came of this, causing the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to step in. Their first course of action was to circulate missing persons posters across the region.


According to the police investigation, Lois’ car was found parked in her driveway. A search of her home found the television and living room lights were still on, and there was a half-finished cup of fresh tea on the kitchen counter. Her keys and purse were in the china cupboard where she typically kept them, and the outfit she’d worn to the dance was hung up in her closet. The only thing missing was a peach-coloured nightgown and matching robe, signalling Lois had been home long enough to change clothes and go about her nightly routine.

The interior of the home also showed no signs of a struggle; there were no indications of forced entry, and the doors had been locked from the inside. The only thing to show that something had happened within the residence were two pea-sized drops of blood on the wall, near the side door.

Hundreds of people were interviewed during the investigation, including the Hanna family, who were cleared after being given polygraph tests. Video footage and photos were also collected from the dance, to see if anyone – or anything – of interest could be noted, and several searches were held. Nothing of value was found.

While speaking with locals, it was learnt that two men had been seen wandering around MacG’s around 9:30 AM on the morning of July 4. Hunters also called in suspected graves, which were dug up and found to be animal bone fragments.

Investigators believe Lois was either followed home from Lucknow Arena or that someone was watching her house, with her killer likely having been at the dance. It’s thought the unknown individual followed her home to Kincardine, after which they abducted and killed her, before hiding her body. Given the lack of evidence of forced entry, it’s likely Lois knew her killer.

Over the years, speculation has suggested that Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka; Pat Takken; or Russell Williams could be responsible for Lois’ death. While Bernardo was known to vacation in nearby Owen Sound during the summer, police have discounted his involvement.

There’s also a belief within the community that Lois’ disappearance could be related to that of 22-year-old Lisa Leona Maas, who went missing on July 17, 1988, after leaving a party in Woodford, Ontario with a male acquaintance. Her green 1976 Plymouth Fury was found along a blind road running through a farm property. When police interviewed the man she’d left with, he claimed to have driven her back to where her car was parked, after which they went their separate ways.

In 1998, the OPP used DNA technology to create a list of 14 persons of interest – all men. They watched one of them for nine months, and all but one have been excluded from consideration.

Information that came into police in 2019 led to Eganville, in Eastern Ontario. According to reports, he’d moved from Lucknow to the township just a few years prior, and Dave believes he is somehow linked to Lois’ disappearance. It’s important to note that this unnamed individual was questioned by investigators back in 1988.

Please Bring Me Home, a local volunteer organization, became interested in Lois’ case in 2019. They launched a search with cadaver dogs that year, and organized another in May 2023, which involved 40 friends, family members and those with an interest in the case. The renewed search was based on information from a local man, who recalled seeing a woman running in a nightgown and screaming for help between Lucknow and the family’s Holyrood farm around 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM on the morning of July 4, 1988. The area was also close to a gravel pit where the man’s son had found a white bra just a year later.

The man reportedly told investigators about this two years after Lois went missing, but felt he wasn’t taken seriously. Other tips have corroborated this potential sighting.


Lois’ disappearance had a devastating effect on her mother, who passed away in January 2013. Speaking with The Eganville Leader, Dave said:

“My mom died such a painful and sad death and she never got over Lois going missing. That broke her heart and destroyed her. Every day she suffered and waited for news on her little girl who never came home one night. Up until the end she waited for news and when she finally passed away, I said goodbye to her and Lois for the last time.”


Lois Marie Hanna went missing from Kincardine, Ontario, Canada on July 4, 1988. She was 25 years old at the time, and is believed to have been wearing a peach-coloured nightgown and matching robe. She had curly brown hair and brown eyes, stood at 5’4″ and weighed 119-120 pounds.

The missing woman’s teeth were said to be in good condition. She has a scar on her upper right leg.


Foul play is strongly suspected in Lois’ disappearance, with the OPP believing she was murdered and her body buried near Holyrood, Ontario. At the time she went missing, she was known to drive a burgundy and grey 1987 Pontiac Grand AM. While it was found in her driveway, investigators would like to speak with anyone who may have seen it on the night of July 3-4, 1988 in the area between Lucknow and Kincardine.

The Ontario Provincial Government is currently offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to Lois’ location.

Anyone with information is asked to call the OPP’s Kincardine detachment at (519) 396-3341 or its Criminal Investigations Branch at either (705) 329-6111 or +1 (888) 310-1122. Tips can also be submitted anonymously via Crime Stoppers at +1 (800) 222-8477.

Image Credit: 90.5 Exeter Today/Ontario Provincial Police


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