Janine Vautour, Makayla Chang’s mother, samples icing while dishing out birthday cake Friday at Maffeo Sutton Park on what would have been Chang’s 18th birthday. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Janine Vautour, Makayla Chang’s mother, samples icing while dishing out birthday cake Friday at Maffeo Sutton Park on what would have been Chang’s 18th birthday. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Murdered B.C. teen remembered on what would have been her 18th birthday

Makayla Chang’s family and friends in Nanaimo still hoping for answers and closure

On Makayla Chang’s birthday, the community sang her Happy Birthday, had cake, and made a wish for justice.

A celebration was held Friday evening at a Nanaimo for Chang on what would have been her 18th birthday. The teen went missing two weeks after her 16th birthday in 2017 and was found murdered that spring.

Nearly two years later, and a person has yet to be charged in her death.

“Not knowing anything is frustrating; it’s really frustrating,” said Kerry Chang, Makayla’s father. “We know absolutely nothing [more] than we did two years ago. We really don’t know anything whatsoever, not where she was found, how she died.”

Kerry Chang said “somebody out there knows something” and that was motivation to open her birthday up to the community and keep her case in the public eye.

“It’s been a long two years and we’re still looking for some closure,” he said.

He’s also concerned that the person responsible could cause further harm.

“I’ve never heard of anyone who harms children who just harms one and that’s what’s bothersome to me,” he said. “They’re walking amongst us and it’s scary.”

About 150 people were at the park Friday and signed a card for Makayla, flipped through a photo album and watched a slide show of happy memories of her with family and friends, taking selfies, dancing, and trying to eat a spoonful of cinnamon.

Lily Morice, who was friends with Makayla, said there are a lot of people in the community who cared about her. Morice said she doesn’t hear much about how the investigation is going and hopes the authorities are working as hard as they possibly can.

“I just hope someone figures it out,” she said. “It’s time for her to let her rest easy instead of trying to figure out what happened.”

She said Makayla always wanted to make other people feel good and had a rare ability to light up a room just by walking in. Morice said she loves her friend very much and misses her.

“She was an amazing person,” Morice said. “It should have been her birthday today – a birthday party, not to mourn.”

RELATED: Nanaimo youths creating mural in memory of Makayla Chang



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Department of Oceans and Fisheries has announced as of July 19 chinook salmon is not to be fished in certain areas in BC tidal waters until July. Spring chinook salmon are seen swimming. (Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service)
Chinook Salmon limits set to zero in some BC tidal waters

DFO implement restrictions to protect Chinook Salmon

Richard Green and Alex Campbell stand in solemn reflection of the survivors and victims of the residential school system on May 30, in Prince Rupert National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 is a time to reflect on the sacrifices and honour the contributions made by First Nations, Inuit and Metis of Canada. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Prince Rupert Reflecting on National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 21 is to celebrate the contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Metis to Canada’s culture

Mark Perry in concert at the old Driftwood School (Marty Clemens photo)
Mark Perry releases new single ahead of Northwest album.

“Golden Spruce” tells the story of a forester who cut down an old-growth Sitka Spruce on Haida Gwaii

Five rehabilitated grizzly bears were released this month into the Bella Coola area. The Northern Lights Wildlife Society will also be delivering 36 black bears to areas across the province where they were previously found. “They’re ready to go and they’re already trying to get out,” says Angelika Langen. “We feel good when we can make that possible and they don’t have to stay behind fences for the rest of their lives.” (Northern Lights Wildlife Society Facebook photo)
Suspected methamphetamine and scale seized by police. (Terrace RCMP photo)
Terrace RCMP seize guns, ammo, suspected narcotics

Man released after court appearance

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read